Pharmaceutical Company, Pfizer, has said Nigeria has less than 15 cancer treatment centres in Nigeria and insufficient oncologists.
A statement by the organisation emphasised that due to few oncologists in Nigeria, it became imperative to install telemedicine to provide and support cancer care.
It revealed that Pfizer had installed a Telemedicine Centre at the National Hospital in Abuja.
The statement added that the telemedicine centre by Pfizer would greatly address the gaps being experienced by underserved and hard-to-reach patients.
Medical Director East and West Africa, Pfizer, Dr Kodjo Soroh, emphasised that “Oncology is a key therapeutic area for Pfizer, and we are relentless in delivering medical breakthroughs that have the potential to change patients’ lives significantly. With the paucity of medical professionals because of brain drain, leaving only a few oncologists available to manage patients with breast cancer in Nigeria, the need for telemedicine to provide and support cancer care when distance separates cannot be overemphasised. The gross lack of awareness and access to treatment centres from the majority of the patients who are rural dwellers makes telemedicine innovation a bridge that can close the care gap in education, diagnosis, and management of breast cancer in West African countries including Nigeria.”
The Chief Medical Director, National Hospital Abuja, Dr Mohammad Raji Mahmoud, said, “Oncology centres are few in the country with less than 15 oncology centres serving cancer patients in the whole country. Of these centres, only five have radiotherapy machines that are owned by the government. Out of these five, only the machines at National Hospital Abuja are currently functional. In a populous country such as Nigeria, access to care for cancer patients is severely limited.”