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Medical expert decries inadequate facilities for cancer treatment in Nigeria

By Ummul Idris [NAN]

A Radiation and Clinical Oncologist, Dr. Tessy Ahmadu, has decried inadequate facilities for cancer treatment in the country.

Ahmadu, who is also the Head of Oncology Department, Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abuja, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

She said rather than blaming the spate of cancer on inadequate expertise in the country, inadequate facilities should be held responsible.

According to her, the country has trained oncologists and specialists handling cancer cases.

“We have a population of over 200 million but we have less than 10 functional radiotherapy machines in the country,” the medical doctor said.

Although Ahmadu said that there were enough experts in the country, she noted that they could still be more than the present number.

She said that if the number of facilities to treat cancer was proportional to the number of oncologists and specialists in the country, cancer cases would drastically reduce.

Ahmadu, however, called on government, organisations and individuals to invest in cancer management, while pleading with government to also look into cancer care.

While urging government to provide adequate facilities, she added that having 10 of such facilities in the country with over 200 million people was not enough.

“The waiting time for patients to access facilities in the hospitals where facilities are available can be up to three or four months.

“We all know that cancer treatment cannot afford to be delayed. The moment cancer is diagnosed, it keeps growing. It does not wait for anyone.

“The fact that you do not have an appointment for your treatment does not mean it will wait until your treatment time,’’ she said

Ahmadu stressed the need for more investment in radiotherapy machines, saying that this would make the machines more accessible for patients, thereby reducing the delay in treatment time.

The medical expert added that with enough cancer treatment machines in the country, a better outcome would be achieved for the patients who had already been diagnosed. (NAN)


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