Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Kano State government has awarded a contract for the construction of a state-of-the-art centre for the treatment of cancer at the Muhammadu Buhari Specialists Hospital in the state
Experts indicated that the centre whose contract was awarded for N2. 4 billion, was the first of its kind in any public hospital in Nigeria, adding that it would improve access to treatment given that Nigeria as at date, has only nine cancer centres, six of which are presently not functioning.
Speaking during an inspection visit to the proposed project site, Dr. Ganduje explained that the project implementation would be supervised by consultants from Varian Medicals, a radiation oncology treatment and software maker with a view to ensuring that it was of international standard.
“It is envisioned that our proposed cancer centre would join the league of the MacCallum Centre, as one of the few cancer treatment facilities in the world, which has a fully-integrated clinical and lab programme flanking a hospital,” he stated.
“High-intensity radiation treatment is involved if the detected cancer is in the advanced stage (depending on the type of cancer). That is why we planned to construct radiation bunkers among other specialised infrastructure we are putting in here,” he revealed.
The governor explained that the administration was “deeply concerned about the growing number of cancer patients, including the sad fact that many of them cannot access effective treatment, hence suffering and even death.
“Importantly, because we (Kano State) have a population in Nigeria, it implies that the incidence of cancer in the state will be higher than most states in the country,” he stated.
“The closest place cancer patients from Kano can get treatment for cancer now is Abuja. With this centre at Muhammadu Buhari Specialists Hospital, patients can get specialised and cheap cancer treatment diagnosis and treatment, in line with WHO recommendation,” he noted.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Bico Nigera Ltd., the company handling the project, Mr Abubakar Kabir, stated that the work would be carried out in collaboration with a multinational firm, Varian Medicals, explaining that the project would be completed within 36 weeks from the date of the foundation-laying ceremony.
“Already our three foreign consultants are coming in next week. So, from the day we mobilise to site, it will take us not more than 36 weeks to complete the work, This is a big project that will create at least 150 jobs for the medical and allied professionals,” he maintained.
Recent statistics released by WHO indicated that over 100, 000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually and about 80, 000 die from the disease, averaging 240 daily or 10 Nigerians hourly, who are dying from cancer.