Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, has announced the Federal Government’s plan to construct six new cancer healthcare centres within the period of three years.
The minister made this announcement on Tuesday, while speaking at a symposium organised by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Abuja.
Alausa mentioned that the cancer centre would be built in the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital;
Zaria, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu; Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos; Federal Teaching Hospital, Katsina; University of Jos Teaching Hospital and University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin.
He further informed that N20 billion had been secured for the construction of the cancer centres in the country within the next three years.
Briefing the media, the minister stated that these centres were strategically placed in the six geopolitical zones with the aim of enhancing accessibility and prompt cancer response and treatment.
“Sadly, the value of the money has depreciated because of the rising inflation,” he noted.
“We had to make presentation to the President and National Assembly for additional budgetary allocation to build the cancer centres,” he mentioned.
In her opening remarks, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Kachollom Daju, disclosed that the government has signed circulars making it mandatory for all cancer patients in our tertiary health institutions to be reviewed by a Multidisciplinary Tumor Board (MDT) for positive cancer treatment.
She added that the ministry is making frantic efforts to ensure that relevant policies and guidelines are available to guide all the healthcare workers to provide quality services.
Daju reiterated that the ministry is working assiduously to ensure the best range of infrastructure and anti-cancer medicine are provided for optional treatment outcomes of cancer patients in the country.
This year’s Cancer Day commemoration was witnessed by representative of multi-national development partners; Non-Governmental Organisations; pharmaceutical companies; captains of medical centres, among others.