Hajiya Hadiza Bello-Yero, a survivor of cervical cancer has established a cancer diagnostic centre in Jalingo, Taraba for early detection and treatment of the deadly disease.
Bello, who conducted journalists round the temporary site of the “Fhamas Cancer Diagnostics Centre” in Jalingo, said that the pain of cancer, the cost of treatment and lack of easy access to facilities were some of the factors that compelled her to establish the centre.
“As an architect, I had nothing to do with the medical line until 2014 when I was diagnosed with cancer of the cervix. I underwent my surgery in Nigeria, precisely at Gwagwalada Specialist, now a teaching hospital in Abuja. Then I was advised to proceed abroad for further treatment; so I proceeded to the American Hospital in Dubai where I had my chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments and later travelled to Abudhabi for brachytherapy treatment.
“So within one year and with good attention I was declared cancer free. It was then that the idea of setting up a cancer diagnosis and treatment center came to my mind. Based on my experience, I discovered that we don’t have a comprehensive cancer centre in Nigeria and as a result, many people die of the treatable disease,” she explained.
She said the centre is aimed at helping those who could not afford to travel abroad to access treatment at lesser cost.
“They will also access medical services without having to pay much money. Because of the limited number of machines we have in this part of the country you find out that so many patients die while waiting on the queue. That is why we need to have a complete treatment centre where you diagnose, detect and treat cancer patients at an affordable price”, she further explained.
She said that she was able to procured machines for the laboratory where preliminary testing for early detection can take place.
Bello also said that UltraSound Scanners ana ECG Machine have been installed while she was awaiting the arrival of a digital mobile x-ray machine and mammography machine that would take care of related complications especially in women.
“I took interest in this project because I am a victim; I know what is called cancer; the treatment of cancer alone is killing not to talk of cancer itself.
While describing the way cancer patients were handled in the country as pathetic, she called on the Nigerian authorities and other NGOs to come to the aid of the project to enable it reduce the cost of treatment for cancer patients.
“I have already acquired about four hectares of land here in Jalingo where I intend to build a permanent site. It will be a complete cancer center with all facilities including a 3-star hotel accommodation, treatment center, research centre, rehabilitation centre, and doctors and nurses quarters.
“My hope is that one day people from America or England can come here for treatment and that is the idea of having a three-star hotel within the master plan for our permanent site.”