This is serious and quite sad as only four cancer treatment centres are functional in Nigeria. Investigations from Punch show that public hospitals are battling with obsolete equipment in some hospitals while some medical facilities have none.
Consequently, patients with cancer and terminal ailments are being subjected to needless wait before treatment could get to them.
Confirming the dearth of vital equipment, the President of the NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile said Nigeria’s public hospitals had just eight radiotherapy centres, where cancer treatment could be done, but only four of them were functioning as of Monday (yesterday).
He stated, “We have eight teaching hospitals in Nigeria with radiotherapy centres – Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba; University College Hospital, Ibadan; National Hospital Abuja, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu; University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin; Usman Danfodiyo Teaching Hospital, Sokoto; and the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe – but about four of them are not in a functional state currently.
“The cancer treatment centre in the University College Hospital, Ibadan; Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe; the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin and that of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, are not functioning at the moment,” Faduyile said.
Reports also came in that the LUTH Chief Medical Director, Prof Chris Bode, said the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority/ LUTH cancer centre that was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari, on February 9, 2019, would open for patients on May 1, 2019.
And when asked to comment on the consequence of dearth of radiotherapy machines on patients, the NMA president said, “It is obvious that anybody who has cancer in Nigeria currently is doomed to die because some of them have to go to Ghana, some of them have to go to India, but those who cannot afford to travel abroad will have a long wait and by the time it is their turn it must have gone beyond redemption, most of them die miserable deaths.”
Faduyile said radiotherapy service shortage had increased morbidity and mortality and hiked medical tourism.