Cancer: Nigeria requires 6,000 but has only 8 radiotherapy machines

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By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos.
Nigeria requires 6,000 radiotherapy machines to effectively tackle the cancer burden in the country but has only eight at present.
Dr. Omolola Salako, Executive Director, Sebeccly Cancer Care, disclosed this while expressing concern about the ailment in Nigeria.
While speaking on modern advances in cancer care, she said that World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that there has to be one radiotherapy machine for every two million people.
Salako expressed this view while featuring as a special guest at the maiden edition of  “Meet Health Writers Forum”.  The forum is a programme of Health Writers Association of Nigeria (HEWAN) designed to engage health sector stakeholders and inform the general public about developments in the health sector.
Having regard to non-availability of home-made medicine and technology for cancer care in the country at present, she urged both public and private sector healthcare researchers and clinicians to embark on research that will produce both drugs and technology for cancer care as  “Research is a critical issue,” Salako stressed.
She advised Nigerian women to be proactive in taking preventive measures against breast and cervical cancer, adding that they should not regard the screening  and diagnostic procedures as immodest.
“Prevention is cheaper than cure,” she remarked.
Not going for cancer screening and diagnosis may lead to the development of cancer which is likely to become incurable, she warned.
“There’s no guaranty for cure even when you spend a lot of money.  In the clinic and in the hospital our women are dropping dead daily,” she lamented.
Early detection of cancer can facilitate remedy,” Salako said
Earlier,  Dr. Kehinde Okunade, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, in his presentation narrated the dangers of cervical cancer.
Okunade reeled out statistics of recent surveys on cervical cancer across the globe and in Nigeria in particular.
He explained that study has shown that all over the world, about 500,000 women    have cervical cancer every year.  Out of this number, about 300,000 will die.
“In Nigeria, we have an estimated 14,500 women develop cervical cancer every year.  Over 9,000 of them will die.”
Okunade, therefore, advised women to take preventive measures’, because cancer is difficult to treat when it develops.
“To treat cervical cancer,” the gynaecologist pointed out, “a woman has to go through surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy,” among others.
 
He called on government to subsidize cancer screening, especially papsmear due to its expensive nature of not less than 7,000 Naira at present.  “It is easier to prevent it than to treat it,” he counseled.
Cervical cancer is a serious disease in which abnormal growth of cells forms and spreads in the narrow passage at the opening of the womb.
 
 
 
 
By; Sulaiman Ahmed Misau, Katsina.
 
Governor Aminu Bello Masari has embarked on unscheduled inspection to ongoing renovation on structures across the State.
 
The State Government has earmarked on renovation and rehabilitation of 100 Primary Schools and Reconstruction of the three major general hospitals of Katsina, Daura and Funtua among others.
 
At the State School of Nursing in Katsina metropolis Masari  who  was conducted round the school by an Engineer handling the project  inspected a new drainage constructed to drain water on the eastern side of the school.
The Governor also inspected works at the school auditorium being given a facelift as well as the landscaping to prevent water from
creating ponds in the premises of the school.
 
Alhaji Aminu Masari was also at the school library where the Provost, Mallam Abba Sada Dikko said the accreditation team that visited the school has requested for an E-library to be established in the school.
The renovation work is being carried out through direct labour by a committee set up by Governor Masari under the chairmanship of commissioner of health, Hajiya Mariyatu Bala Usman with Hussein Ibrahim Ahmed as Secretary.

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