By Abiodun Azi and Augusta Uchediunor
To provide specialised radiation therapy for children with cancer, the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre (NLCC) has introduced a Paediatric Radiation Oncology Programme in Lagos.
The Centre Director of NLCC, Dr Lilian Ekpo, said during a media tour on Thursday that the pioneering initiative was designed to address the rising cases of cancer in children in sub-Saharan Africa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), childhood cancer incidence in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at 56.3 per million population.
Current projections show that Africa will account for nearly 50 per cent of the global childhood cancer burden by 2050.
Ekpo said that this was what led the NLCC team to a significant step forward to confront this concern.
“The introduction of the Paediatric Radiation Oncology Program is our response to this pressing need.
“ It is an acknowledgement that children with cancer require specialised care that addresses their unique medical and emotional needs.
“ It signifies our unwavering commitment to improving the outcomes and quality of life for these young patients,” she said.
The director described the new medical service as a beacon of hope for children and their families who faced the challenging journey of pediatric cancer.
“The project also represents a promise that the centre will make every child and every family who walks through its doors, a promise of hope, a promise of healing, and a promise of unwavering support.
“We have assembled a dedicated team of experienced radiation oncologists who are not only experts in their field but also compassionate individuals deeply committed to providing the best possible care for our young patients.
“Children are our most precious treasures, and their well-being is a shared responsibility.
“This programme underscores our dedication to this responsibility.
“It represents a promise that we make to every child and every family who walks through our doors, a promise of hope, a promise of healing, and a promise of unwavering support.
“Our journey to this point has been marked by tireless dedication, countless hours of planning, and unwavering determination.
“ Today, as we inaugurate this programme, we do so with immense pride, knowing that it carries the potential to positively impact the lives of countless children and their families,” Ekpo said.
She appreciated the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and NSIA for their commitment to advancing cancer care in Nigeria.
During her presentation, a Clinical Radiation Oncologist, Dr Adebayo Joseph, stressed that 40 per cent of Nigerian cancer deaths could be prevented if patients were provided with the information and support they need to adopt healthy lifestyles.
According to her, the NLCC offers compassionate and comprehensive care at every stage of the patient’s journey.
This is as the centre understands the huge burden that a cancer diagnosis and its subsequent treatment places on the patient and their family.
“Hence, the highly experienced team made of radiation oncologists, medical physicists, radiotherapists, and oncology nurses provide the most feasible route to alleviate the situation by offering affordable, safe and proven treatment options’’.
Also, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, commended the NLCC’s efforts and contributions of their selfless service to humanity, especially the children with cancer.
The CMD said the centre had once again demonstrated exemplary leadership in the treatment of cancer in the country, urging the team to continue thinking out of the box.
Adeyemo also promised to keep supporting the team.(NAN) www.nannews.ng
Edited by Vivian Ihechu