Judex Okoro, Calabar
The newly-elected President of European-African-Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (E-AHPBA), Nigerian Chapter, Professor Rowland Ndoma-Egba, has warned against the rising cases of cancer in Nigeria, particularly liver cancer which is the 5th most common and the 4th deadliest form of cancer in the country.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Nigerian Chapter of the Association held in Calabar, Ndoma-Egba, the immediate past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, tasked the country to take the lead in developing the speciality in the West African region and Africa generally in stemming the scourge of liver cancer.
According to him, “Liver Cancer is the 5th commonest in Nigeria and the 4th deadliest and over 60 per cent of our liver cancer patients are aged 20-50 years. Cancer of the pancreas is raging with very high mortality and gallstone disease that was said to be rare is now quite common. This is the time for relevant stakeholders to intervene to save life of young Nigerians.
“In addition, End-Stage liver disease like cirrhosis that could benefit from liver transplantation is becoming quite common. This is the time for relevant stakeholders to intervene to save the lives of young Nigerians.”
Ndoma-Egba, who is also a former Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), stressed that it is in the best interest of the country that its human capital and the technical knowhow be developed as rapidly as possible to help address the scourge.
Speaking after the inauguration, the President of International Hepato-Pancreato-Billary-Association (IHPBA), Professor Martin Smith, expressed delight at the inauguration of the Nigerian Chapter and promised to support the Association to achieve its mission. He urged Nigeria to take the lead in developing the speciality in the West African sub-region and other parts of Africa.
The Nigerian Chapter of the E-AHPBA was inaugurated after an Advanced Course titled ‘Improving the Standard of Care in Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery in Nigeria’, organised by an international faculty and facilitated by IHPBA.
The Association, which is devoted to the relief of worldwide human suffering caused by hepato-pancreato-biliary disorders by improving education, training, innovation and patient care, has Professor Ndoma-Egba as the pioneer president of the Nigerian Chapter.
He will run the affairs of the Association for two years and will be assisted by other notable experts including Professor Olusegun Alatishe of OAU, Ile-Ife as Secretary-General, Professor Ogbu Ngim as Treasurer, Dr Lanre Balogun as Financial Secretary and Dr Ademola Adeyeye as Public Relations Officer.
The zonal coordinators include Dr Christopher Ekunife, Dr Andrew Dongo, Dr Paul Adighije, Dr Gloria Eke, Dr Ibrahim Gazali and Dr Callistus Nwachukwu for the South-East, South-South, North-Central, South-West, North-East and North-West, respectively.