From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Chief Medical Director, Igbinedion University Teaching Hospital (IUTH), Prof. Godwin Bazuaye, yesterday, appealed to the Federal Government for a waiver for stem cell transplant drugs in order to reduce the cost of treatment of sickle cell disorders and other cancer related diseases.
He made the call while briefing newsmen on the successful first stem cell transplant breakthrough carried out at Igbinedion University Teaching Hospital (IUTH) Okada, Edo State.
According to him, the team performed the successful autologous stem cell transplant for a patient with multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) at with the combined effort of experts from Igbinedion University and a private firm, Celltek Healthcare Medical Centre.
Bazuaye, who noted that sickle cell anaemia had become a burden to many families in Africa, said that he had successfully carried out 12 transplants for sickle cell patients and appealed for government’s support to curb the disease by granting waivers for transplant drugs.
He said that waivers for transplant drugs would mitigate the cost of treatment for patients and address the issue of medical tourism, stressing that many patients who suffered from the ailment usually seek medical attention overseas, particularly in India.
“We call on the Federal Government and all necessary agencies to collaborate with IUTH and IUO to providing Africans with a centre of medical excellence and medical tourism,” he said.