Health

Six Tertiary Hospitals to Get Cancer Equipment

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, (NSIA) on Friday 22 March, 2024 for the procurement of cancer equipment for six (6) Federal Tertiary Hospitals to enhance oncology care in Nigeria.

Professor Pate, during the signing ceremony said, with the prevalence of cancer cases resulting to death, the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (FMH&SW) in 2021 launched the oncology initiative which aims to improve oncology care through strategic medical investments that includes the establishment of new oncology and nuclear medicine centres, upgrade of existing facilities and deployment of modern medical infrastructure in the participating tertiary institutions.

The Minister who lamented the delay of the project by the previous administrations, stated that Nigeria has lost both money value and lives as a results of selfish interest. “For us to see three to four years where monies have been appropriated to purchase cancer equipment and for one reason or the other, we were not able to move forward”, he stressed.

Pate described the event as an important milestone that would end the tragic story of losing life’s of millions of Nigerians especially who are afflicted by cancer. He stated that all stakeholders in the implementation process of the Initiative were consulted and clearance from the Attorney General of the Federation has been received to sign the project at the cost of Thirty Eight Billion Naira (38bn).

The Oncology Initiative task NSIA with the proposed cutting-edge medical infrastructure to be deployed in the six Teaching Hospitals selected from the six geo- political zones include: linear accelerators, iridium brachytherapy machines, computed tomography (CI) simulators, position emission tomography (PET) scanners and cyclotrons.

The Coordinating Minister, assured of transparency and openness in the process, calling on EFCC, SON and other Civil Society Organizations to track any penny being funded on the Oncology Initiative, emphasizing that Civil Society Organizations should amplify to the general public as part of their advocacy.

In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health and Social services, Daju, Kacolum mni, expressed delight for the project, stressing that the upgrading and establishment of the six Tertiary Teaching Hospitals should be commended.

She pointed out that this has shown the commitment of the Federal Government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu towards providing infrastructural facilities aimed at uplifting the lives of Nigeria especially in the Health sector.

In their respective responses, the Chief Medical Directors of the benefiting Teaching Hospitals, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the initiative stressing that the gesture will assist immensely in saving lives of numerous Nigerians afflicted with cancer cases.

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) Aminu Umar Sadiq, stated that considering the proliferation of cancer cases in the country, when these facilities are put in place, victory for Nigerians will be declared when the facilities are commissioned between the next sixteen to eighteen months.

“We are particularly pleased as Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority as actors within the space in Nigeria, with our facilities located at LUTH Lagos. We have seen the significant impact that localized world class oncology facilities can make in Nigeria. And also the opportunity to collaborate that under the government initiative, has informed something that we all need to ensure it is done”, he emphasized.

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