The federal government is working towards establishing six new cancer treatment centres in tertiary hospitals across the geopolitical zones of the country.
The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa, stated this yesterday in Abuja during a ministerial press briefing organised by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in collaboration with the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT) to mark the 2024 World Cancer Day.
He said the centre would be established in the following hospitals – University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State (UNTH), Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Zaria, Federal Teaching Hospital Katsina, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Benin, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) Jos, and Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Lagos, while University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) Maiduguri is being upgraded. He said they would be established with brachytherapy machines and other equipment.
He said the National Health Insurance Authority, NHIA, would ultimately manage funding for cancer care in the future, to avoid duplication of roles in terms of purchase of services for all patients. “Recently, the operational guideline of the NHIA Act was launched to pave the way for full operationalisation of the act, which also provides for funding for vulnerable Nigerians including cancer patients,” he said.
The Director General of the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT), Prof. Usman Aliyu, said Nigeria has developed and launched a policy document on hospice and palliative care along with the national strategic cancer control plan 2023-27, as well as the national cancer research agenda, with plans to implement them from the 2024 budget.