FG Commissions Five Brachytherapy Machines For Cancer Treatment

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire (middle) with other stakeholders at the Ministerial press briefing in Abuja to commemorate 2023 World Cancer Day.

In line with efforts to reduce the distance cancer patients have to travel for treatment, the Federal Government has commissioned Brachytherapy Machines In Five Federal Teaching Hospitals across the country.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this on Monday, February 6, 2023 at a press briefing in Abuja to commemorate this year’s World Cancer Day.

Ehanire averred that the theme of the 2023 World Cancer Day, ‘Closing the Cancer Care Gap’ sought to address the dichotomy between different social classes in respect of access to care.

Highlighting some efforts made by his Ministry to improve access to quality and affordable cancer services nationwide, the Health Boss said:

“The Federal Ministry of Health collaborated with partners to introduce the Cancer Access Partnership (CAP) Programs, to provide quality anticancer medicines to patients at 50% of market price. The CAP program currently operates in Sixteen (16) Tertiary Hospitals, but I have now approved inclusion of all Tertiary Hospitals across the country.

“Further more, I approved inclusion of diagnostic services, such as immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the CAP Program for optimal cancer management. The CAP program exists in about 10 other countries, but Nigeria CAP is first among them to implement, so that others are being tutored by us to strengthen their programs, since we have made great impact with over 3,500 cancer patients currently accessing care on the program”.

He informed that the Federal Government established the Cancer Health Fund (CHF) for comprehensive treatment of cancers of the breast, cervix and prostate to indigent patients, at no cost, in all six geopolitical zones.

He added that they were currently adding radiotherapy services to some hospitals in the country with installation, training and functional brachytherapy machines in National Hospital Abuja, UNTH Enugu, UBTH Benin, UCH Ibadan and ABUTH Zaria and UDUTH Sokoto.

While commissioning the machines, the Health Minister informed that, “on this 2023 World cancer Day I shall commission Brachytherapy Machines in National Hospital Abuja, UNTH Enugu, UBTH Benin, UCH Ibadan and ABUTH Zaria while that in UDUTH Sokoto will be commissioned at a later date”.

In response, the President Nigerian Cancer Society (NCS), Dr. Adamu Umar
applauded the contributions of the Federal Government to the prevention and control of cancer in Nigeria through various initiatives including inclusion of cancer treatment in the national health insurance Authority (NHIA), installation of modern radiotherapy machines in some Teaching Hospitals, commitment to Introduce at a large scale, HPV vaccination to adolescents, Palliative Care Policy and Cancer Control policy amongst others.

He therefore, prayed that the various achievements made thus far in Cancer Control in Nigeria will be sustained beyond the current administration.

On the workings of the machines, Executive Representative of Stepcho Nigeria Limited, Benjamin Ubiri explained that Brachytherapy Machines were radiation machines, “an innovation from what was on ground before
it is an innovation Stepcho Nigeria limited has brought to the country.

“It can either be used alongside surgery or separately and its result is equal to what you can get when you do surgery, even though it’s a radiation therapy. We are open to partnership, it would radically change cancer treatment”, Ubiri informed.

He further stated that Stepcho Nigeria limited focuses mainly on construction of hospitals, bunker and also the supply and distribution of medical equipment, medical laboratories and pharmaceutical lab equipment.


Previous articleNYSC DG Tasks Corps Members On Community Service
Next articleFIRS, LIRS Sign Pact For Joint Tax Operations, Audit


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.