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Health Ministry Expands Cancer Treatment Facilities, Offers Widespread HPV Vaccination

By on February 3, 2012

TEN teaching hospitals in Nigeria are to benefit from a N1.44 billion ($9 million) project supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to procure cancer-treating equipment.

Beneficiaries of the project to be completed in 2015 are the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu; Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria; University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin; Othman Danfodio Teaching Hospital Sokoto (UDUTH), Sokoto; University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Rivers State; University College Hospital Ibadan (UCH), Ibadan; University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH); Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gombe; and National Hospital (NHA), Abuja.

Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, told The Guardian that currently linear accelerators for treating cancer are available at LUTH, UNTH, the National Hospital in Abuja, UBTH and UDUTH, Sokoto.

He said Cobalt machines also used for treating cancer are available at UCH, FMC Gombe and ABUTH.

Chukwu, who spoke on efforts of the Federal Government to tackle the menace of the disease ahead of the 2012 World Cancer Day tomorrow, explained that the IAEA partnership with the government would improve services in the designated hospitals.

The minister said the government had also invested more funds on the prevention of cancer through immunisation with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine and Hepatitis B vaccine for cervical and liver cancer.

Chukwu hinted of plans to incorporate the HPV vaccine into the National Programme on Immunisation to prevent at least 40 per cent of cancer.

He said: “During the 2011 World Cancer Day commemoration, 300 indigent girls were immunised at the launch of HPV vaccine. These girls have successfully completed the three doses and many more will be immunised during the forthcoming 2012 Nationwide Cancer Awareness and Screening campaigns at the local government level.”

Chukwu said three comprehensive cancer screening centres were established at the UPTH, National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki in Ebonyi State and the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gusau, last year.

“They are equipped with mammography machines, Cryoprobe systems, ultra sound scans, video-culposcopes and ELIZA machines for Prostatic Seminal Antigen (PSA) analysis (for prostate cancer), to increase access to cancer screening services in three geopolitical zones,” he said.


The minister said the Ministry of Health would complete the project in the remaining geo-political zones in 2012, as part of its updated Action Push Agenda of the Ministry.

The United Nations (UN) sets aside every February 4 to mark the World Cancer Day to unite the world in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. The yearly event draws attention to easing the global cancer burden by preventing the disease and raising the quality of life of people.

The theme for 2012 edition is “Together it is possible.”