The NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre commissioned recently by President Muhammadu Buhari will open its doors to patients on May 1, this year, the Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Chris Bode has announced.
Presently the ultra-modern equipments are undergoing necessary calibrations and fine-tuning to comply with international standards before going to operation. “The rigorous steps are a must before international and local regulatory bodies can certify any high-end irradiating equipment for use on patients,” said Prof. Bode.
He also disclosed that the centre, financed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, is designed in compliance with international best practices while requisite personnel including radiotherapists, oncologists, physicists and nurses are currently undergoing conversion training in readiness for the smooth take-off of services at the centre.
The multi-billion cancer centre was established as a joint-venture partnership between the NSIA and LUTH to address the lack of adequate and comprehensive cancer treatment and management in the country. One of the largest single private-sector investments in the public healthcare sector, the centre is a sprawling edifice covering over 1500 square meters, with two of its three linear accelerators already installed. It is equipped with a robust Treatment Planning System installed by Messrs General Electric; a Brachytherapy machine to treat cervical and prostate cancer, including other cancer-related ailments in hidden but approachable sites. In addition, the chemotherapy suite can accommodate up to 15 patients at any time.
The equipment suppliers, Messrs Varian of Palo Alto, are providing capacity building. Specifically, it is building a training centre at the hospital in support of its commitment to human capacity development in radiotherapy across the West African sub-region.
The LUTH facility has been described as the best cancer centre in West Africa and when fully operational, will be handling more than 300 patients per day. A 10-year service maintenance contract is built into the purchase agreement to enable the centre give at least a full decade of uninterrupted service. A team of experts from training colleges which recently visited LUTH have expressed satisfaction with the state-of-the-art facility, saying it has surely rekindled hope for manpower training oncology in the sub-region.