The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Cancer Centre (NLCC), has entered an expanded strategic partnership with BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH).
The partnership is to reduce the impact of cancer in Nigeria, according to a statement by Mr Titilope Olubiyi, Communications Officer, NSIA on Tuesday, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Olubiyu said that under the arrangement, the NSIA would benefit from BVGH’s African Access Initiative (AAI), which was suited to enabling both parties achieve their objective of containing cancer-related mortality in the country.
“This partnership builds further on the solid foundation of programmes led by BVGH that is delivering value to the center and helping to improve treatment for Nigerians.
“As it stands, cancer is a serious health threat in Nigeria, with 116,000 new cancer cases reported each year and more than 70,000 deaths annually, “he said.
He added that beyond the devastating effects on the populace, cancer, and its treatment, result in the loss of economic resources and opportunities for patients, families, employers, and the society.
Olubiyi said NSIA’s healthcare investments focused on cancer with the aim of providing sustainable, high quality and affordable treatment for Nigerians to reduce medical tourism.
He also said that the NLCC and BVGH partnership would focus on establishing sustainable access to high quality and affordable cancer medicines and technologies.
“It would also build clinical and radiation oncology expertise by helping to train and expand the skills of oncologists, forge international partnerships and catalyse clinical research”.
Mr Uche Orji, Managing Director of NSIA, said that in spite of the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, NSIA’s partnership with BVGH was stronger than ever and the resolve to improve cancer patient outcomes was unflinching.
“This partnership will not only improve access to quality cancer treatment for Nigerian citizens, but also strengthen our economy, as medical tourism is made unnecessary for cancer treatment.”
Prof. Chris Bode, the Chief Medical Director, LUTH), said he was excited at the partnership between NLCC and BVGH.
He said it was expected that the combined effort and commitment of both institutions to deliver the target outcomes in terms of expected quality, and scale of care would add value to the Nigerian people.
Jennifer Dent, President and Chief Executive Officer, BVGH, said the partnership was part of the organisation’s broader goal of designing and building sustainable access to cancer treatments.
“Our position remains that advocacy for cancer prevention and domiciliation of quality treatment for patients in Nigeria, must be done in parallel and at scale, if the longer-term objective of reversing medical tourism and eliminating the scourge of cancer is to be achieved.
“However, we are confident that the model adopted with the NLCC will go a long way in improving the survival rate in Nigeria,“ he said.
Dr Tolulope Adewole, CEO, NLCC, said the partnership with BVGH had quickly and effectively delivered on several NLCC core objectives, including expanding access to prioritised medicines, and building capacity across its healthcare team.
He added that even though the critical importance of accessing quality cancer care was heightened by the pandemic, BVGH’s partnership was helping the centre realise its goals in containing the disease burden of cancer.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that BVGH is a non-profit organisation based in Seattle, Washington working with the private and public sectors to advance research and improve health.