The government of the United States of America funded Marcelle Ruth Cancer Center and Specialist Hospital (MRCC), Lagos, was commissioned yesterday.
The new healthcare facility, which is reputed to be Nigeria’s first comprehensive cancer treatment center, is equipped with cutting edge American medical diagnostic equipment developed and supplied by the GE Healthcare and Varian.
The MRCC was founded by Dr. Modupe Elebute Odunsi.
The US Consul General, Ms Claire Pierangelo, along with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, formally opened the Cancer Center and Specialist Hospital.
Pierangelo said that the establishment of the MRCC represented yet another example of the strong partnership between American and Nigerian private sectors to significantly improve public health outcomes.
She noted that the United States would continue to lead the world in medical research, innovation and technology that would provide solutions to tackle the scourge of cancer and bring happiness to many, as demonstrated by the ingenious medical devices developed by Varian and GE Healthcare.
Pierangelo lamented the heavy emotional and financial burden cancer placed on patients and their loved ones and expressed optimism that the new health facility would make cancer treatment available locally and significantly reduce medical tourism for cancer care.
She said: “We can only hope that more centers like the MRCC will emerge and that all stakeholders in the health system continue to take big strides towards defeating cancer. Varian, GE and other U.S. medical equipment suppliers are ready to be reliable partners in such effort.
“It is heartwarming to know that Marcelle Ruth Cancer Center and Specialist Hospital is the first comprehensive healthcare center in Nigeria and perhaps the whole of Africa, with the most advanced radiotherapy treatment. With these diagnosis and treatment capabilities now available in Nigeria at the MRCC, Nigerians do not need to travel overseas again to seek medical solutions for any kind of cancer.”
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nigeria recorded nearly 125,000 new cases of cancer in 2020 and about 79,000 cancer-related deaths. That means every hour, fourteen Nigerians are diagnosed of cancer and nine die as a result.
Currently, Nigeria has between three and five out of a minimum recommendation of 150 working medical linear accelerators. (ThisDay)