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Hope rises as NIMR, German firm opens cancer research centre in Lagos

Cancer

Cancer

The pioneering Chairperson of National Action Committee on AIDS, Prof. Ibironke Akinsete, yesterday blamed lack of training facility and quality researches for rising cases of cancer in Nigeria, put at over 250,000 yearly.

Akinsete, who spoke at the official launch of a new biomedical training and cancer research centre in Lagos yesterday, said the available training facilities have been overwhelmed as the burden grew over the years.

She observed that while the rest of the world has continued to maximize the potentials of cancer research and training, to reduce the deadly disease to chronic level, Nigeria has continued to lag behind in equipment and local researches that could have turned the tide against cancer sicknesses and deaths.

“You must remember that cancer is a deadly disease and we don’t have the facilities. In developed countries, they have facilities for research to know the epidemiology, causes, treatment and prevention of cancer. We are very much in its infancy here,” Akinsete noted.

The professor of Haematology said it was therefore a delight to see the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) paving the way forward for medical cancer research in Nigeria, with the Biomedical Training and Cancer Research Centre, located in Yaba. “If you look at the whole of Nigeria, many lives could have been saved if we had done researches into prevention, into diagnosis, treatment and so on. This is what this centre has to offer and we hope that this will be the beginning, not only in Lagos, but the whole of Nigeria, so that we will be able to look into cancer patients as much as possible,” she said.

Akinsete explained that cancer research is a basic research into the disease, to identify causes and develop strategies for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

She added that there are many simple, yet defining, researches to be done, appealing to researchers from different institutions to come into the new facility to carry out their studies, using its state-of-the-art equipment.

The multi-million naira facility, being a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between NIMR and the German technology company, Sysmec-Partec, currently has cancer research laboratory and office; a biomedical laboratory that houses XN-Series Haematology analysers; and conference rooms, among others. It was built without a government support.

NIMR Director General, Prof. Innocent Ujah, said the facility is a demonstration of the importance of genuine partnership and its role in upturning the fortunes of medical research in the country.

According to Ujah, the partnership with Sysmec-Partec is one of the several collaborations NIMR has had with leading international institutions and organizations to support human and infrastructural development in the Nigeria’s foremost research centre.

He added that the centre would enhance training capacity and mentorship, to upscale research capacity for quality health care for Nigerians.



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