Nigeria is ready to have its first cancer hospital, the African Medical Center of Excellence said.
This was made known by AMCE’s executive director, Brian Deaver, when he paid a courtesy visit to the president of the Commission for Nigerians in the Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Wednesday.
Deaver noted that most hospitals in Nigeria are general in nature, hence the need to fill the gaps specifically in the fight against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The chief executive also said the hospital would create jobs for 1,000 people and health workers to help manage the brain drain syndrome, explaining that it would create the environment for those who left to return.
He said: “It’s really a pleasure to be with you here and talk a little bit about what we’re doing and really seek collaboration as we look to bring back all the talented, educated and experienced doctors and nurses. the world in the US, London and elsewhere to bring them home, and to help us in our attempt to treat Nigerians, as well as the West African sub-region, in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease and blood diseases .
“Nigeria is lucky to have many very good hospitals that are general in nature. We have chosen to invest in a very large hospital, ultimately 500 beds that will focus on what we saw as gaps in care and that is specifically cancer and cardiovascular disease.
“The beauty of this is not just during construction, we would be creating jobs.
“By the way, we are already a year under construction and we invite you to come out and see the site and the great work that has been done.
“But not only will jobs be added during the construction phase which will continue due to the size of the project over the next two years, then as we prepare for the opening and after the opening we will add literally 1,000 jobs in the area. . So we desperately need your help.
“We want to partner with you as we seek to get the message out to all educated and highly-skilled Nigerians around the world to take them home to participate in this great project.”
In response, the NiDCOM Chairman thanked the team for choosing Nigeria to invest in, assuring the team of the Commission’s full support to ensure talented Nigerian medical staff return to the country to boost the healthcare sector.
He expressed his optimism that AMCE would be a game changer in the Nigerian healthcare system.
Dabiri-Erewa said: “We are ready to work with you. We will start working with you. You can count on our partnership to make you successful.
“It is particularly important because we are talking about the field of medicine. I mean, I’m sure you read all the stories. We are not happy with the fact that a lot of medical personnel are leaving. Do you know what makes me happy? They leave despite the circumstances, and they are among the best wherever they go. So those who leave the UK for Canada, they get there and they excel. They wouldn’t do that if the base wasn’t right.
“We know we have to do better, but they are Nigerian and they are doing very well there. The beauty of this is that they are still going to come back and they will be the ones working with this African Medical Center of Excellence.
“We should be proud of who we are as a people and of the intellectual talent we have. Now how do you harness all of this for the benefit of our own home country? So I’m proud of our brothers and sisters everywhere.
“They just need a better environment and it is being created by the government and I am sure that in the years to come we will have positive stories to tell, particularly in the healthcare sector. I think even before his arrival we have to say that around 10 hospitals have been built and there are Nigerians in the diaspora.
“Right here in Abuja, we have about five of them come to build these hospitals, populate them, and then come from time to time. So really, I’m sure when we move forward, we’ll be a destination for medical tourism. I hope AMCE changes the rules of the game”.