Monday, 23 November 2015

Nigeria: Cancer Patients In Agony Over Faulty Radiotherapy Machines

Despite having an increasing number of citizens suffering from cancer, Nigeria only has seven radiotherapy machines, five of which are currently faulty, health officials have said.

Radiotherapy is an essential modality in the treatment of most cancers with about half of all cancer patients receiving some type of radiation therapy during the course of their treatment.

Following complaints by cancer patients across the country in accessing treatment, NAN set out to ascertain the availability and functionality of radiation machines at some designated hospitals in the country.

While reacting to the allegations, Dr. Mohammed Habeebu, a Consultant Oncologist and Radiotherapist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi- Araba, Lagos, said the radiotherapy machine at the hospital broke down as a result of overuse.

He confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that “as I speak to you now, the machine is faulty, but our machine is not the only one faulty, others in the country are also faulty and only two are functional out of the about seven we have in the country.”

“We have six government-owned and one privately-owned designated hospitals with radiation machines . The private one is operational and one other in the government hospital is functioning.

The story is the same at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, but Temitope Alonge, the Chief Medical Director, told NAN that the hospital had bought a radiation machine for the treatment of cancer “and the Cobalt 60 radiation machine, which costs N10 million, will be delivered to the hospital before the end of November.

Clearly, we need more radiotherapy machines but I doubt we will get more soon.


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