By Terry Gum
A leading healthcare provider in the Middle East, the Saudi German Hospital, Dubai, recently expressed the desire to help Nigeria win the fight against cancer.
Dr. Rajeev Kaushal, the Hospital’s Head of Oncology, made this known while responding to questions from journalists after a meeting between the representatives of the hospital and critical stakeholders in Nigeria’s health sector.
“According to World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recent statistics, between 102,000 and 120,000 patients are diagnosed with cancer each year in Nigeria. It is disappointing that out of these figures, about 72, 000 patients are lost to the scourge. This is mainly due to lack of state-of-the-art cancer treatment and management facilities in the country, lack of sufficient public awareness, and lack of a necessary political will to build quality hospitals and treatment centres where citizens can access cancerservices affordably.
“These were the issues discussed with our Nigerian partners, andgoing by the outcome of our meeting, it may take about three to five years to set up facilities across the country that would address the deficit in health infrastructure for cancer treatment and management.
“But in the interim, we have agreed to set up a cancer referral centre. We have also made arrangement for our medical experts to fly into Abuja from Dubai to conduct special screening for patients who are having symptoms or suspicions about cancer,” he said.
Also speaking, the International Patient Affairs Advisor of the Saudi-German Hospital, SemiraDikbas, said that as a first contact person of the hospital, she was always ready to give the best to patients at all times, especially in the areas of hospitality and logistics.