Malfunctioning machines make cancer cases worse in Nigeria

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Imagine knowing someone who urgently needs treatment ans can’t get it because the machines are not working at the hospital?

There are times when for as long as two months, the major machines (Cobalt 60 and Linear Accelerators) for treatment of cancer at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba would be broken down due to pressure on the machines.

LUTH is a foremost federal medical institution which receives the highest number of cancer patients from within and outside the country.

According to the “We have about two million cancer cases in the country, with over 100,000 new cases being recorded yearly.”

The machine has broken down a couple of times and most times, the Olusegun Obasanjo administration which purchased the machine as well as the governments after it, find it hard to maintain it.

“Nigerians are going to India everyday for treatment of cancer; the treatment that we can give them here. Why is somebody not listening to people like us and do the needful to improve the poor state of the medical facilities. It is very frustrating,” said the Head of Department (HoD) Department of Radiation Biology, Radiotherapy Radiodiagnosis and Radiography, College of Medicine, LUTH, Prof. Remi Ajekigbe, said in a recent interview.

Ajekigbe also recalled that in the whole country only the machines for treatment of cancer at the National Hospital, Abuja, Eko Hospital, Lagos (a private hospital) and Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto are working.

What if the Nigerian government allocates an oil block for the treatment of cancer? Will it help to train manpower and buy equipment at least two machines in every cancer centre?
Everyone knows that treatment of cancer is very expensive and cancer patients source funds for treatment especially because the treatment is not fully covered under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

In Nigeria, the two highest number of cases are breast cancer-related while the other is cancer of the cervix.



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