The Federal Government has designated six federal tertiary hospitals as oncology centres of excellence.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Director Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, Ayotunde Adesugba, and made available in Abuja.
It said that the policy was taken in collaboration with the Cancer Education and Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria and ROCHE Products Limited.
Mr. Adesugba said one hospital from each of the six geopolitical zones of the country will be upgraded.
The hospitals are Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, (North West), University Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri (North East) and University College Hospital, Ibadan (South West).
Others are UTH Benin (South South), University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu (South East) and ABU Teaching Hospital, Zaria.
Mr. Adesugba quoted the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Linus Awute, as saying that the upgrade will be done in line with the Public Private Partnership. He said the PPP is the best legacy of the health ministry and an important strategy for addressing the challenge of non-communicable diseases and cancer care in particular.
The statement said that the ministry will seek further collaboration with private sector practitioners like Roche on the Nigeria National Cervical Cancer Screening Scale up project.
Mr. Adesugba also quoted the Country Manager, Roche Products Ltd, Herman Addae, as saying that while cancer is a leading cause of death; not enough attention is given to it.
He said cancer became a major killer disease due to the unavailability of data, lack of enough medical specialists, poor funding and inadequate sensitisation, among others.
The country manager enumerated intended possible areas of intervention to include training of healthcare professionals, provision of infrastructure, access to therapy and establishment of a Health Journalist Academy.