By Doris Obinna
Stepcho Nigeria Ltd, a leading health services provider in Nigeria, has partnered with BEBIG Medical, one of the world’s leading radiotherapy manufacturing companies in Germany to expand access to cancer treatments in Nigeria.
The duo donated radiotherapy machines, which includes LINAC, CT Stimulators and Brachytherapy machines. The new BEBIG LINAC machine is used to generate beam radiation treatments for cancer patients using high-energy x-rays to destroy the cancer tumours without damaging the surrounding tissue.
Speaking at the BEBIG LINAC product presentation which was held at the Fraser Suites Abuja recently, the former Minister of Health and member of the Lancet Commission on Oncology, Prof Isaac Adewole, emphasised that Nigeria would gain more as a country when she invests in cancer care. “We will gain more as a country when we offer treatment to our people. Then they will develop trust in public health and we will give them confidence about getting quality care.”
Adewole pointed out that Nigeria needs more machines. “Ideally, we need at least four machines for one million people to offer effective treatment. There shouldn’t be less than 200 machines working in Nigeria. We have only two machines working in Nigeria. So there is room for 198 machines in Nigeria.”
The former minister of health said that the provision of these machines would prevent Nigerians from going out of the country to access care.
On his part, the Head of Radiology & Oncology Department, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Prof Sunday Adewuyi, pointed out that “As at 2011, we had 18 radiation and clinical oncologists in this country. Today we have 100 clinical oncologists and 100 oncology nurses in Nigeria.”
While commending the number of clinical oncologists and oncology nurses in the country since 2011, he lamented that the number of radiotherapy machines have not yet increased. He, therefore, called for more machines as part of cancer management and the setting up of comprehensive cancer centres in the country.
Also speaking at the product presentation, the Representative for Stepcho Nigeria Ltd, Benjamin Udiri, commended the efforts between the public and private sector healthcare industry in providing newer and more efficient solutions and support to oncologists in Nigeria. According to him, this effort of the private and public sectors in providing newer and more efficient solutions and support to oncologists in Nigeria is essential as we move to get newer solutions around the world.
He also added that Stepcho Nigeria Ltd is a company in Nigeria that procures medical products of high quality and reliable and work-ready solution companies. “Our core business over the years has been to distribute medical equipment and facilities to all hospitals in need of intensive care. We engage in businesses that efficiently affect the nation, particularly healthcare.
“Our specialist fields include medical lightning, medical audio-visual systems, medical power systems, operating theatre control panels, medical architecture equipment and more. We also try to meet the needs of both patients and staff in today’s healthcare environment through our solution-driven approach.’’
According to Bebig’s Sales Directors, Hamidi Medina Sabrina and Mohammadi Reza, their new BEBIG LINAC machine is designed to deliver public health and hospital services in every state and territory in Nigeria targeting four key areas: Specialist hospital services such as cancer treatment, rural health and hospital infrastructure.
Medical experts like Prof Ifeoma Okoye, Professor of Radiology, College of Medicine, UNTH Enugu, commended and thanked STEPCHO and BEBIG Medical at the event for introducing the new BEBIG LINAC machine, CT Stimulators and Brachytherapy machines at this time to improve access to life-saving cancer care treatment in Nigeria.
Notable medical directors, oncologists, healthcare policymakers and dignitaries at the presentation include; Prof Sunday Adewuyi, Head of Radiology & Oncology Department ABUTH Zaria; Prof Ahmed Hamidu, CMD ABUTH Zaria; Prof Musa Olomu Adewale, Medical Director, FMC Abeokuta; Dr Olumide Okunola, Senior Health Specialist, International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group; Dr Okpikpi Okpako, National Cancer Coordinator; Dr Ibrahim Kana (MNI), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence; Alhaji Mahmud Mamuda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health; Dr Shuaibu Belgore, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior; Hon (Dr) Sununu, Chairman, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Mr Moses Aliu, MD/CEO STEPCHO Nigeria LTD, Dr B.O Alonge; Dr David Atuwo, Senior Technical Director, Minister of Health amongst others.