By Dennis Agbo
The Callistus Multiple Myeloma Foundation has disclosed its plans to assist multiple Myeloma patients, otherwise known as bone cancer, particularly those in the southeast geopolitical zone.
The foundation said it was willing to support the patients in terms of getting a diagnosis, treatment, and paying for treatment of the patients.
Executive Director of the foundation, Tochukwu Obodougo made the disclosure during a sensitisation programme in Enugu.
He said that they decided to create awareness and sensitization on multiple Myeloma diseases, which is Cancer of the bone, after the death of his father, Callistus.
“It was after the death of my father from cancer he suffered. After going around here in different Nigerian hospitals for many years, even going for a MIR test and nobody was able to diagnose the real problem. What everybody said was that he had a bone problem, but just within one week he arrived in the US he was diagnosed with cancer. That is to show you the medical gap that we have in Nigeria,” Obodougo said.
He further disclosed that by 2018, the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, the foundation had identified some patients suffering from the disease, including three women.
“We are the pioneers of this campaign in Nigeria, and we wish to partner with any agency, any donor, any hospital, any cancer research centre, anybody that is ready to partner with us,” Obodougo said.
Board member of the foundation and communication specialist, Henry Chinwuba stated that the nature of their intervention was at three levels. “One, at the level of patients, we are willing to support the patients in terms of getting a diagnosis, treatment, and paying for treatment of the patient.
“At the level of health practitioners and health institutions, we are willing to support capacity building for health practitioners and even caregivers because handling multiple Myeloma patients is delicate and it’s not everybody that knows how to handle it. So we want to build the capacity of the nurses who handle the patients so that they can take care of the patients very well.
“At the other level, we are willing to support institutions where there is an equipment gap. Does the hospital have enough machines to conduct the test? We need to get that assessment then we will know how to carry out the intervention in that area.
“We are also carrying out advocacies to institutions such as the federal ministry of health, the National council planning committee to see how we can bring funding and government awareness to create funding for this disease because Callistus Multiple Myeloma Foundation cannot do it alone. So we are also calling on other Non Governmental organizations and individuals to come to a partnership.”