By Sola Ogundipe
THREE Federal healthcare institutions, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Lagos; the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, AKTH, Kano and the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia, FMCU, Abia State, are beneficiaries of a $20 million joint investment aimed towards providing Nigerians access to world class healthcare.
Under the venture announced by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSlA Healthcare Development and investment Company, NHDIC, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, funds will be deployed to build, equip, maintain and operate a centre for advanced radiotherapy treatment at LUTH and also to build, equip, maintain and operate private modern medical diagnostic centres at the AKTH and the FMC, Umuahia, FMCU.
Under the agreements, the Cancer Centre at LUTH will be upgraded to provide specialist care for cancer treatment while AKTH and FMCU will focus on diagnostics providing medical microbiology services, routine chemical pathology, haematology tests and advanced radiography including MRI and CT services.
The investment is expected to upgrade the institutions to modern medical centres and significantly enhance Nigeria’s ability to treat NCDs.
Speaking at the signing, Mr. Uche Orji, MD/CEO NSlA stated that “investing in healthcare remains a vital component of the Nigerian infrastructure Fund strategy. The enhancement of healthcare infrastructure in these institutions will contribute towards raising the quality and standard of care in Nigeria with outcomes which are consistent with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, in addition, it will demonstrate the economic potential of healthcare investments in Nigeria and catalyze private sector participation”
According to Minister of Health, Prof. lsaac Folorunso Adewole: “One of the most important aspects of healthcare is investment in infrastructure. This investment, though focused on NCDs is the first of many which we believe will shape the future of healthcare in Nigeria and bring quality healthcare to many”.
The investment is intended to provide access to advanced healthcare services for benefit of lower income families many of whom have limited access to care.
As part of the programme, NHDIC has procured the services of internationally renowned equipment vendors including Varian (Switzerland), Siemens (Germany), JNC lntemational [Nigeria) and Fuji Films (Japan) to provide turnkey services including civil works, design, equipment installation and maintenance services for the centres.
The NSIA is considering an investment of up to $10 million to fund the acquisition of a high energy Linear Particle Accelerator, LlNAC, (for external radiotherapy); a low energy LINAC (for external radiotherapy); a Brachytherapy system (for internal radiotherapy): a CT simulator (for radio therapy planning); and Construction/upgrading of bunkers for the two LlNACs.