Medical Practitioners Seek Expanded Access To Cancer Treatment
Stakeholders in the health sector have called on state governments and private sector players to support current efforts in the treatment of cancer by providing modern equipment at an affordable cost.
The stakeholders, who are mostly oncologists made the call at a conference organized by Nigeria’s leading supplier of medical hospital equipment and surgical units, stepcho Nigeria limited, in Abuja.
At the parley with the theme, “bridging the gap in cancer care”, they deliberated on new ways to achieve expanded access to cancer treatment in the country.
The meeting was organized in collaboration with the federal ministry of health, to help expose Nigeria’s oncologists and heads of federal medical centers, to the new linear accelerator which is being introduced to Nigeria to help move cancer treatment closer to the patients.
Representatives of Bebic, the manufacturers of the linear accelerator, Hamidi Medina and Muhammad Reza who spoke on the new innovation, assured that over 150,000 of such machines have been installed worldwide and that there would be a local team on the ground to help with after sales care and maintenance.
According to them, the new Innovator is a digitized dual-photon medical linear accelerator used for high-accuracy image-guided radiotherapy platforms.
“It has two X-rays and multi-electron rays which can treat the deep-seated tumour. It adopts modular real-time control technology and can be equipped with precise couch”, they stated.
Former minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole and other oncologists and heads of federal medical centers in Nigeria who spoke at the event said machines can best be described as an innovation that will provide access and timely care to patients.
They also commended the effort by stepcho Nigeria limited, at providing a state-of-the-art linear accelerator that will help revolutionize the treatment of cancer in Nigeria.
Specifically, Adewole who was reputed to have helped in the fight against cancer during his time as minister by helping to equip federal medical centres in the country described the theme of the conference as apt, saying it tallies with the effort of stepcho Nigeria ltd, for inviting oncologists from across the country to discuss the introduction of the linear accelerators into Nigeria as well as efforts by the federal government in the expansion of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to help subsidize the cost of treatment of cancer.
Acting director hospital services department, Dr B. O. Alonge and national cancer coordinator at the federal ministry of health, Dr okpikpi okpako described the collaboration between Bibec and stepcho as a commendable effort, noting that both are big players in the fight against cancer.
They believe that “this would make the market more competitive and answer to the call for more private sector players to come into the cancer space.”
Chief medical director of the ABU teaching hospital, Professor Hamidu Ahmed, also commended the organisers for giving practitioners and stakeholders in cancer care a new beginning and access to the machine directly as well as access to after-sales services, spare parts and maintenance.