Cancer: FG to upgrade seven teaching hospitals as oncology centers

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Cancer fighting equipment launched by president Buhari

THE University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu is among seven teaching hospitals selected across the country for upgrading and to be fully equipped as an oncology centre for the management of any type of cancer.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Thursday, made the disclosure in Abuja at the commencement of the 2019 Breast Cancer Awareness Month, organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development as well as an NGO, MedicAid Cancer Foundation.

While noting that the Nigeria National Cancer Control Plan and the National Strategic Plan for Prevention and Control of Cervical Cancer were inaugurated to guide and regulate all cancer activities in the country, the minister added that upgrading and equipping the hospitals would go a long way toward tackling the menace of cancer.

He said that the seven selected teaching hospitals, designated as Oncology Centers, are being upgraded with state of the art equipment, machines such as brochytherapy, CT scan, simulators, among others, to manage all types of cancers.”

The Oncology Centers will be located at the Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital (UDTH), Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria and the National Hospital, Abuja.

Others are the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos.

The minister said it was unfortunate that breast and cervical cancers were the most common forms of the disease and had contributed to several deaths in the country.

He attributed the prevalence rate of the disease to lack of awareness, late presentation, and poor health-seeking behaviour.

Dr Osagie Ehanire noted that financial constraints, religious and traditional beliefs, inadequate experts to manage the disease, and inadequately equipped cancer managing centres had contributed to the rising cases of the scourge. 

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