Nigeria needs 600 radiotherapy machines – Expert.

During the foundation ceremony of Asi-Ukpo Oncology Centre in Calabar, Cross River State, A consultant radiation and clinical oncologist, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Dr. Evaristus Oboh, says Nigeria requires 600 units of radiotherapy machines to meet the World Health Organization and International Atomic Energy Agency standards for cancer treatment, and he also said the country, with a population of over 160 million, records over 100,000 new cases of cancer yearly.

In his paper titled, “Overcoming the burden of cancer in Nigeria,” he lamented that out of the nine radiotherapy centres in the country, only two were functioning, adding that over 70 per cent of cancer patients would require radiotherapy in the course of their treatment, and in order to tackle the increasing spread of cancer. There was need to establish more centre, especially in developing countries like Nigeria.

He also said, “There should be comprehensive cancer centres in every state. Nigeria currently requires 600 units of radiotherapy mega-voltage machines to meet the WHO/IAEA standards, and “Public-Private Partnership has a vital role to play in cancer control in Nigeria. Over 70 per cent of cancer patients would require radiotherapy in the course of their treatment.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Asi-Ukpo Diagnostic Centre, Brig.-Gen. Anthony Ukpo, said that health care should not necessarily be managed by doctors alone.

, a former head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who was the special guest of honour, urged the Federal Government to establish more cancer centres across the country with a view to discouraging medical tourism abroad.

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