Kano state government has awarded a contract of N2. 4 billion for construction of a state-of-the-art cancer center at the Muhammadu Buhari Specialist hospital in the state capital, the center is the first of its kind in any public hospital in Nigeria.
The project is coming on the heels of a visit to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center, Melbourne, Australia, one of the world’s leading cancer research, education and treatment centers, by Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje recently. Speaking when he inspected the proposed project site, Gov. Ganduje explained that the project implementation would be supervised by consultants from Varian Medicals (a renowned radiation oncology treatments and software maker) to ensure that it is of international standard.
Ganduje said, “It is envisioned that our proposed cancer center would join the league of the MacCallum Center, as one of the few cancer treatment facilities in the world which have a fully integrated clinical and lab program flanking a hospital. 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 specialized infrastructure we are putting in here. We are concerned about the growing number of cancer patients and the sad fact that many of them cannot access effective treatment, hence suffering and even death”.
He said, “Importantly because we have the largest population in Nigeria, it implies that the incidence of cancer in the state will be higher than most states in the country. The closest place cancer patients from Kano can get treatment for cancer now is in Abuja. With this center at Muhammadu Buhari Specialist Hospital, patients can get specialized and cheap cancer treatment diagnosis and treatment, in line with WHO recommendation”.
At the moment, Nigeria with a population of close to 200 million people has only nine Cancer centers but only three are functioning. The country also has 11 cancer registries located mostly in tertiary hospitals across the country. Most of the registries are underfunded and screening program is at a minimal level.