The Federal Government has said it will establish six new cancer treatment centres in teaching hospitals across the geopolitical zones of the country.
Dr Tunji Alausa, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday 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.
According to him, “the centre will 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 explained that they would be established with brachytherapy machines and other equipment.
According to him, 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 minister stated that the operational guideline of the NHIA Act was launched to pave the way for full operationalisation of the act, adding that it would also provides for funding for vulnerable Nigerians including cancer patients.
Prof. Usman Aliyu, the Director General of NICRAT explained that 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.