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Special Report-UMTH: Looking at the Cancer Center Under Professor Ahidjo’s Led Management Team (3)

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Special Report-UMTH: Looking at the Cancer Center Under Professor Ahidjo’s Led Management Team (3)

By: James Bwala

As a way to wrap up this piece, let me mention that the management team of Professor Ahmed Ahidjo is actively working to provide Nigerians seeking assistance with cancer treatment with the greatest possible care. The CMD has taken concrete action and made public statements to support the training of doctors who specialize in clinical oncology and related fields. If only to find water, the CMD might go anywhere and crack the rock. An official count of oncology or general surgeons in Africa could not be located after searching through reports on cancer-related topics. In 2010, a thorough analysis of the literature from sub-Saharan Africa (except from South Africa) on the state of surgery in the region indicated that there were just under two surgeons for every 100,000 people living there. For comparison, there were more than 35 surgeons in the same number in England.

As a result, surgery and anesthesia were performed—and are still performed—in many district hospitals by non-physicians who received special training for the job. The majority of oncologic surgery was carried out by general surgeons in referral hospitals. According to the study, the large-scale emigration of medical school graduates and the lack of surgically specialized programs in many African nations were the main causes of the low number of surgeons in the region.

Many Nigerians are now wondering how Professor Ahmed Ahidjo was able to reach the ground under his leadership in hospital management at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, which prides itself as the “Centre of Excellence”. We also made inquiries. How many radiation facilities are currently operating in Africa? Are these covering the need for cancer therapy sufficiently? How many additional units will be necessary? And so on. Radiotherapy plays a major role in the curative arsenal of a cancer unit.

When examining the primary therapeutic approaches utilized to treat cancer patients, it was discovered that surgery was the primary approach in 49% of cases, radiation was the primary approach in 40% of cases, and chemotherapy was the primary approach in the remaining 11% of cases. According to a survey conducted in the high-income nation of Australia, little more than 52% of cancer patients required radiotherapy as part of their treatment regimen. However, it is believed that up to 60% to 70% of new patients in low-income countries require radiotherapy due to a lack of surgical treatments and the high proportion of advanced-stage tumors that call for palliative care.

In light of this, only 277 external-beam radiation devices were registered for the African continent in the IAEA’s Directory of Radiation Centers in 2010. Of them, two nations—South Africa and Egypt—accounted for 60%. In addition, of the 52 nations surveyed, 29 African nations did not offer radiotherapy to cancer patients. According to the IAEA, more than 700 additional teletherapy machines would be needed on the continent given the estimated 713,206 cancer cases per year in Africa (according to GLOBOCAN 2008) and the fact that one teletherapy machine can treat 450 new cases of cancer annually.

There are currently no specific statistics available on the accessibility of chemotherapy drugs across the continent of Africa. In 2012 and 2018, an assessment of the situation in sub-Saharan Africa was made, which revealed a number of issues. All 22 of the chemotherapeutic medications on the WHO essential list are probably imported into the region, most of them as generics, but not all of the medications are always available. It is assumed that there is a severe scarcity of systemic anticancer drugs based on extrapolating the status of other critical medications on the WHO list, whose availability was proven to cover barely half of the demand. The scientists also discovered that, on average, the prices of pharmaceuticals in Africa were between 2.7 and 6.1 times higher than the prices used as international benchmarks. Finally, they calculated that there aren’t enough certified medical professionals available to give chemotherapy.

The situation is best illustrated by a review of the pharmaceuticals accessible for cancer therapy at a cancer center in Tanzania; over the time period studied, only about 50% of the specified medicines were available, which resulted in more than 70% of patients not receiving adequate therapy. The expense of purchasing the medications privately ranged from 1 to 7 months’ worth of income. Only a few patients were able to pay because the majority of them lacked insurance. Services in anatomic and clinical pathology are essential for cancer prevention. Pathology studies provide evidence for each stage of the diagnostic process, including the detection of malignant disease, diagnosis, staging, planning the surgical procedure, assessing management complications, and monitoring the outcome of treatment.

Furthermore, pathologic confirmation of the diagnoses is required for the cancer registry data to be taken seriously. For realistic planning of cancer control measures, this final input is crucial. Although there are no official statistics on the state of pathology services in Africa, the information that is currently available indicates a serious shortage in both quantity and quality. According to a 2012–20 informal assessment of pathology capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of pathologists in the region was roughly 10% lower than that of specialists in fields equivalent to pathology in high-income nations.

The African Pathologists Summit, held in 2013 in Dakar, also noted the lack of pathologists and technicians, the poor state of the equipment, the inadequate infrastructure, and the difficulties in getting laboratory supplies. An extensive assessment of cancer prevention in Africa was just released. The analysis reiterates that most malignancies in Africa with the highest incidence rates can be prevented. For instance, human papillomavirus vaccination and other population screening techniques can prevent cervical cancer; hepatitis B vaccination can prevent liver cancer; eliminating malaria and HIV infections can lower the risk of Burkitt lymphoma (HIV is also the primary cause of the high incidence of Kaposi’s sarcoma); and limiting sun exposure can prevent skin cancer.

The investigation did discover that the region’s preventative measures are insufficient. According to the literature, not enough people are aware that cancer exists as a disease, that it has risk factors and manifestations, and that there are methods for preventing and treating it. Additionally, a number of cultural aspects make it difficult to use preventative strategies developed for other sociocultural contexts. The infrastructure and staff in place to enable mass prevention efforts in the health sector are insufficient. Although vaccination programs against the human papillomavirus and the hepatitis B virus are conducted on the continent, they are mostly supported by funding from outside organizations like the United Nations or the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations.

Governments lack the motivation to fully commit to the fight against cancer, and the majority of nations lack national cancer registries, which would provide accurate information on the scope and character of the issue. In a 2009 analysis of the global burden of cancer, the Economist Intelligence Unit discovered a significant gap between the cancer costs on the African continent, which accounted for just 0.3% of the global costs, and the continent’s share of the world’s new cases of cancer, which accounted for 6.4% of the world’s annual total. The amount spent on cancer treatment is disproportionately low in Africa since the majority of cancer costs are represented by medical expenditures (medications, medical procedures, charges for hospitalization, and outpatient visits).

READ ALSO: https://newsng.ng/the-plight-of-farida/

We were able to see the wider picture of the efforts being made by Professor Ahmed Ahidjo, Chief Medical Director of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, and his management team to find a solution to a more significant issue the world is currently facing thanks to his high-level explanation, study results, and real-world data. The newly opened Cancer Center at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) would go a long way toward reducing the amount of regular medical travel that Nigerians engage in. The Cancer Center is the only facility in Nigeria with four bunkers and cutting-edge medical equipment to ensure that cancer patients receive top-notch care.

Recalls that Alh. Mamman Mamuda, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, said of the UMTH during the inspection of projects completed in the hospital that other cancer centers across the nation “are not up to the standard” of the UMTH Cancer Center and lack the capacity. From what I have observed on the ground, I can conclude that the UMTH is prepared to put an end to medical tourism in Nigeria, he claimed. We have already begun planning ways to make the UMTH a recipient of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Cancer Support Fund.

The Cancer Center, which cost more than N5 billion to build, has the newest medical facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the UMTH, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo. He also noted that the goal of the UMTH is to prevent any medical issues from being referred to outside facilities, such as the Epic Hospital in the North East Region. We have two linear accelerators, two brachytherapists, and four bunkers here. We are bringing the first linear accelerators into Nigeria with the Nectar Infinite. The second one, HD Versa, for which the Federal Ministry of Health recently completed the purchase procedure for us, is the first to enter sub-Saharan Africa and the most recent method used globally.

Alongside the Permanent Secretary, Director of Hospital Services Dr. Adebinpe Adebiyi praised the Cancer Center as one of the greatest in the nation and claimed that “it is beating the trends” set by other centers before it. Dr. Adebiyi disclosed that the management of UMTH has given the issue of staffing the new cancer center great priority, noting that the capacity building of professionals to staff the center has been completed. “When Nigerians travel overseas and encounter other Nigerians, they are treated with respect. Why are they not able to treat Nigerians here? It was her.

In Borno State, the CMD is being praised for the several initiatives he is putting in place to make Maiduguri a tourism hub for health in Nigeria, especially with the country’s largest cancer center and cutting-edge medical technology. The move and encouragement needed from the previous administration to the current one, under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is to have more federal presence at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital through activities that would promote bigger dreams for a better health solution in Nigeria.

Special Report-UMTH: Looking at the Cancer Center Under Professor Ahidjo’s Led Management Team (3)

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MOP is another stride in the UMTH (1).

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MOP is another stride in the UMTH (1).

By: Lazarus Balami

The beauty of effective leadership is the continuing development and evolution of leadership ideas. So, these were noticeable around the stride being brought to play by the Ahidjo-led management team at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH. The latest of which is the Medical Oxygen Plant (MOP), adding to the narratives and initiatives of the CMD and his management team.

When NEWSng heard of the Medical Oxygen Plant project initiated by CMD Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo to improve healthcare delivery services in line with international standards of health and hospital management to provide more room for more medical research and teaching in the hospital, in its character for reporting achievements, our team flew in to see things as they were on the ground. And on good authority, we can say that this singular project has distinguished UMTH from other teaching hospitals in the country.

With what we have reported so far and the many ideas coming and dreams becoming reality, we can only say that it is time other hospitals began to take cues as soon as possible from UMTH. Standing in front of a giant liquid gas reserve tank with a capacity of 10,000 liters, we asked, Where do you find this? With the number of specialized medical centers of different types as a common sight In UMTH, in aiding healthcare services, therefore, the need for medical oxygen cannot be overemphasized in this tertiary hospital. 

In our reportage on UMTH, NEWSng has not heard of the Medical Oxygen Plant (MOP) in any hospital across the country. Perhaps most common to most people are the cooking gas plants where you refill your cylinders for domestic use. But an edible oxygen plant is entirely a different thing, far from the common cooking gas plants that we see at every corner of the streets around us.

Hospital medical oxygen plants are primarily built to cater to and provide for oxygen, a basic need in all hospitals and other medical facilities for the treatment of patients in critical conditions. Intentive Care Units (ICU), Child Care Centers, and Baby Incubators are the major consumers of medical oxygen gas. whether or not oxygen simply means gas. In this regard, we are concerned with filterized, refined, and cylinderized oxygen as medical gas oxygen.

At the plant site, our team could see a large liquid oxygen tank (LOT) reservoir. Speaking to our team, Engr. Babangida Mohammed Inuwa, the Head of Oxygen Production, informed us that this section of the Medical Oxygen Plant and its machine, tagged as Plant ‘C’, was constructed and provided by the Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Abuja, while Air Separation (Nig) Limited Lagos provided the technical know-how of separation from raw liquid gas to medical oxygen gas. 

READ ALSO:https://newsng.ng/umth-how-professor-ahidjos-transformation-agenda-impacted-the-information-unit/

“What we had before now was an oxygen refill unit. But today we have a medical oxygen plant of high capacity, standard, and quality production with a reservoir tank of 10, 000 liters of liquid gas,” Engr.Babangida said.

He also said that the first machine is 19 years old but still working infectively and in good shape. ‘ It is all about plant preventive maintenance (PPM) culture. That is what we practice and apply here.” He added. “If this measure is not applied, any breakdown of the three machines will affect our production, and by and large, the hospital will suffer a shortfall of oxygen, and patients will not find it easy’. Also, other hospitals and their patients might be in a similar medical condition. This is because most hospitals in Maiduguri get their medical oxygen from us (UMTH)”. He said.

Speaking on the challenges faced by the medical oxygen plant, the Head of Production, Engr. Babangida Mohammed Inuwa said one major cog in the hospital and the plant is power. “You need power to energize you to do what you want to do. to achieve your goal. Power is energy, and energy is power. There is a major failure of power (electricity) in Maiduguri, and our hospital is at the receiving end. 

“However, our solar systems are bailing us out to some extent. But we need a national grid supply of power. Those in authority should come to our aid’. He said.

Indeed, this is absolutely a problem, as observed in Maiduguri generally. This protracted challenge of power, which has not only affected healthcare services in UMTH and Maiduguri but also business and social activities, calls for government and spirited individuals to come together to salvage the situation, particularly as it affects the health of the people in the state.

The UMTH is doing everything possible to ensure the best attention is given to power generation in the hospital; however, resources are being merged and could not give the needed output as expected. While this is so, it is expected that people should come to this understanding. Our findings revealed that some individuals within and outside the hospital are taking advantage of the electricity outage and/or power failure in the city of Maiduguri to accuse and label the hospital management for refusing to provide electricity to the wards and medical centers. This is absurd!

MOP is another stride in the UMTH (1).

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World Kedney Day: CMD Extols Borno Govt for Supporting UMTH’s Kedney Centre

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World Kedney Day: CMD Extols Borno Govt for Supporting UMTH’s Kedney Centre

By: Babagana Wakil

The Chief Medical Director of the University of Maiduguri teaching hospital, Professor Ahmed Ahidjo has reiterated the hospital’s commitment to the treatment of Kidney and other related diseases.

The hospital boss , made the disclosure yesterday while addressing members of the hospital Kidney Center as part of activities to mark the year 2024 World Kidney Day.

According to the Chief Executive, the hospital has remained a reference point among hospitals attending to such cases in Nigeria, while emphasizing that the role of the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum can not be overemphasized.

According to him, the state government have been responsive and committed to activities related to kidney research and development, part of which recently, the government kickstarted the process that targeted about 50 million Naira to fund and assist research process in the Centre.

He admonished members of the Kidney unit to continously demonstrate high sense of professionalism and expertise when dealing with patients while emphasizing that in UMTH, patients remains the king.

On his part, the Director of the Kidney Centre, Professor Ibrahim Ummate, called on the general public to prioritize their health, as he noted that kidney disease is fast growing

According to him, about 18 percent of Borno population is presumed to be suffering from Kidney disease, while advising that people should endeavor to always drink water, eat healthy, exercise and always go for checkup of atleast 3 to 6 months intervals.

World Kedney Day: CMD Extols Borno Govt for Supporting UMTH’s Kedney Centre

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US, in 2023 Commits $600 million to Health in Nigeria

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US, in 2023 Commits $600 million to Health in Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

The United States has committed $20 billion into various health programmes in Africa, it said on Wednesday.

A released by the United States Embassy in Nigeria also revealed that: “In 2023 alone, the United States invested over $600 million in health assistance in Nigeria,” with U.S. partnerships on health in Nigeria saving millions of lives, strengthened health systems, and better prepared Nigeria and the region for current and future health security threats.

The release stated that: “The following are the facts about U.S. government partnership with Nigeria for health now and in the future: Preventing Malaria: Malaria threatens more than half the world’s population and claims the life of a child every minute, and the United States, together with our global partners, has helped save more than 11.7 million lives and prevented 2 billion malaria infections globally.

“Malaria is a leading cause of death in Nigeria, but malaria deaths in Nigeria have fallen by 55 percent since 2000. To advance Nigeria’s national. strategy to counter malaria, since 2011, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has taken steps to prevent illness and death by providing: Nearly 83 million insecticide-treated bed nets; 22 million malaria preventive treatments in pregnancy; 164 million fast acting malaria medicines; Insecticide to spray 121,000 homes; Over 102 million rapid diagnostic tests for malaria.

“Ending HIV: About 39 million people live with HIV globally, including an estimated 2 million in Nigeria. The United States and Nigeria are focused on ending HIV as a public health threat by 2030. The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has expanded HIV treatment and reduced HIV transmissions, saving more than 25 million lives in more than 50 partner countries over the past two decades and giving over 1.6 million Nigerians access to antiretroviral therapy. In Nigeria, PEPFAR has invested a total of more than $8.3 billion in the national HIV response.

“In 2023, PEPFAR resources supported:
Over 12 million people with HIV counseling and testing services; More than 2 million pregnant women with HIV counseling and testing services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; More than 1.8 million people living with HIV with TB/HIV services; More than 1.5 million orphans and vulnerable children with care and
support services

“Delivering Vaccines: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States helped Nigeria vaccinate 70 percent of its eligible populations. The U.S. government supports Nigeria to control, eliminate, and eradicate other vaccine-preventable diseases as well. Through technical expertise and programmatic support, the United States collaborates with international and local partners to strengthen immunization systems and expand routine vaccine delivery.

“In the course of these efforts, the U.S. government has: Donated 44 million doses of COVID vaccine; Supported vaccination of 2,145,063 children for polio in security-compromised areas, helping Nigeria become certified free of wild poliovirus in 2020; Supported introduction of four new vaccines for children, including
rotavirus, IPV2, measles, and HPV.

“Advancing Global Health Security: The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Ebola, mpox, and other outbreaks in the country and region, has shown the devastating impacts of infectious disease on health, economies, and societies. Together, the United States and Nigeria are working to strengthen health security capacities. Several U.S. government agencies partner with the Nigerian government to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from emerging public health threats. Through these collaborations, we are protecting the health of Nigerians, Americans, and people across the globe. Key activities in Nigeria include: Establishing a Public Health Emergency Management Program that has trained 55 national and subnational emergency managers who have responded to seven priority outbreaks; Enhancing Nigeria’s national disease surveillance systems, by training more than 800 epidemiologists and scientists to promote global best practices; Developing Nigeria’s laboratory diagnostics to test for Ebola, mpox, yellow fever, measles, Lassa fever, cholera, and cerebrospinal meningitis, thus strengthening Nigeria’s ability to quickly detect and respond to outbreaks.”

US, in 2023 Commits $600 million to Health in Nigeria

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