U.S. Consul General optimistic new cancer centre will stem medical tourism, financial burden | Ripples Nigeria
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U.S. Consul General optimistic new cancer centre will stem medical tourism, financial burden

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The U.S. Consul General in Nigeria, Claire Pierangelo, has expressed optimism that the Marcelle Ruth Cancer Center and Specialist Hospital (MRCC), newly launched in Lagos, will make cancer treatment available locally, and significantly stem medical tourism for cancer care.

Speaking at the launch of MRCC, Pierangelo said the health facility will also reduce the heavy emotional and financial burden experienced by cancer patients and their loved ones.

She said the facility was equipped with cutting edge American medical diagnostic equipment developed and supplied by GE Healthcare and Varian, noting that the establishment of MRCC shows the strong collaboration between American and Nigerian private sectors to significantly improve public health in the country.

“We can only hope that more centres like the MRCC will emerge and that all stakeholders in the health system continue to take big strides towards defeating cancer. Varian, GE and other U.S. medical equipment suppliers are ready to be reliable partners in such effort,” Consul General Pierangelo said.

“It is heartwarming to know that Marcelle Ruth Cancer Center & Specialist Hospital is the first comprehensive healthcare centre in Nigeria and perhaps the whole of Africa, with the most advanced radiotherapy treatment. With these diagnosis and treatment capabilities now available in Nigeria at MRCC, Nigerians do not need to travel overseas again to seek medical solutions for any kind of cancer,” she added.

MRCC was founded by Dr Modupe Elebute Odunsi, and is reputed as Nigeria’s first comprehensive cancer treatment centre.

Read also: 20% Nigerian women from 15yrs at risk of developing cervical cancer — Health Minister, Ehanire

Present during the launch were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nigeria recorded nearly 125,000 new cases of cancer in 2020 and about 79,000 cancer-related deaths. This means that every hour, fourteen Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer and nine die as a result.

Although the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommended that Nigeria should have about 150 working medical linear accelerators at the minimum, there are only between three to five machines currently working in the country.

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