BrandArena: Shaping the future of oncology to deliver quality cancer care in West Africa

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Shaping the future of oncology to deliver quality cancer care in West Africa

As part of its ongoing commitment to provide quality healthcare to Sub Saharan Africa, GE Healthcare presented its latest solutions during the ARCON conference held in Nigeria. The team is focused on bringing cutting edge technologies to the region to increase accessibility and provide clinicians with faster access to information and help increase quality of care, particularly in the field of oncology.

In Nigeria, cancer leads to approximately 72,000 deaths every year. It is estimated that there are 102,000 new cases of cancer annually, with breast and cervical cancers as the two most common types, accounting for approximately 50% of all cases. Given the disproportionate number of women impacted by these cancers, GE Healthcare’s focus on oncological diagnosis and care is a step forward in a key initiative for the country.

GE Healthcare has worked to support both public and the private sectors across the region, supporting the development of Nigeria’s healthcare infrastructure and bringing the latest solutions to the region, including anatomic imaging of CT and PET technologies, that allows for the visualization of cellular metabolism activity. This means that clinicians will be able to evaluate earlier whether a treatment is working, and tailor an appropriate therapy regimen according to patients’ unique needs, bringing an entirely new level of healthcare technology in the fight against cancer.

This technology puts together images with high-quality, detailed information about the structure and function of the organs and tissues in the body, putting together a complete picture of what is happening inside the body. This has become essential technology for clinicians to look at how certain diseases progress and develop.

One of the partners GE Healthcare is working with is Me Cure Healthcare Limited, a leading healthcare provider in Nigeria. The partners will together open a first of its kind Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography PET/CT system in West Africa later this year.

The new center highlights GE’s commitment to supporting the health sector in the region. The venture will help deliver enhanced diagnostic care, a key element in preventative measures and early diagnosis. Critically, the center will seek to support patients in getting the right diagnosis and treatment closer to home. This is of particular importance in the context of the pandemic, when travel abroad can be difficult and cost prohibitive.

The Cyclotron technology that will be available at the center is a large particle accelerator that spins protons as fast as 20% of the speed of light (132 million mph). Agents are developed to light up a patient’s cancer or Parkinson’s disease markers during a diagnostic scan. With this technology, Me Cure aims to conduct PET/CT exams for over 3,000 patients a year. This will support the government’s goals of making screening services and early detection of cancer available for more Nigerians, and improving access to quality, cost effective, and equitable diagnostic and treatment services for cancer care. 

Samir Udani Chairman at Me cure Healthcare “I am proud to be part of this project, as it will contribute to better healthcare for people across West Africa, and in Nigeria in particular. The strong will of the team allowed us to move forward with this partnership with GE Healthcare, which supports our vision in improving the diagnostic and treatment experience of our patients, to provide high quality and accessible clinical and outpatient services to the people of Nigeria.”

Eyong Ebai, General Manager of GE Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “Our purpose is to improve lives in moments that matter, and this is an example of partnering to help deliver sustainable and accessible precision care to all. The patient is the center of everything we do and we are proud to continue providing technologies that can help detect cancer early, reducing overall mortality rates and improving quality of life. By providing our innovative PET/CT technologies in Nigeria, we are delivering on our commitment to make a positive impact in the communities in which we live.”

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