Nigeria’s only cancer treatment machine has expired. The machine currently in partial good condition at the National Hospital, Abuja, is 16 years old while its lifespan is seven years.
Also, another cancer machine which was bought several years ago has not been installed at the hospital because of lack of funds.
An encologist, Dr Bello Abubakar, disclosed this at a forum to mark the 2016 World Cancer Day in Abuja, yesterday.
He also regretted that the only cancer school in the country lacks the basic infrastructure to function optimally.
Abubakar, therefore, called for the funding of the school and the provision of basic infrastructure that will create the conducive environment for learning.
He challenged the federal government to train and recruit more medical physicists, as according to him, Nigeria currently has only two.
The expert lamented the dearth of specialists in various fields of cancer treatment, noting that both the federal government and the private sector must join hands to end the ugly situation.
On his part, Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services, Muhammad Usman, regretted what he described as ‘miserable’ amount presented by the Health Ministry in the 2016 Budget for the fight against cancer in the country.
He called for more allocation in the 2016 Budget for the procurement of cancer equipment.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed that the government had initiated a process that would culminate in the transformation of the National Cancer Control Programme into a national agency.
The agency, he said, would provide leadership and technical direction for cancer control in Nigeria, adding that it would be a multi-disciplinary centre involving all healthcare personnel, basic and social scientists as well as public health experts.