UCH records breakthrough in cancer care

The University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, has recorded a major breakthrough in the diagnosis and management of different cases of cancer, with the commissioning of its purpose-built Molecular Diagnostic Centre in the Pathology Department, which is the first of its kind in the entire West African sub-region.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony in Ibadan, on Thursday, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Professor Temitope Alonge, disclosed that the million-naira complex, equipped with six standard size medical laboratories and office spaces, was put in place with support from an octogenarian indigenous philanthropist, Alhaji Nurudeen Akanji Oluwasola, in response to the clarion call from the hospital for Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the health care delivery, to stem the tide of medical tourism abroad.

According to the CMD, the newly commissioned Special Diagnostic Centre had the capacity for preventive and clinical diagnostic services, as well as state-of-the-art research opportunities in Karyotyoping (Sex determination); Molecular Oncology (Solid tumour mutation panel); Haemato-oncology (Flow cytometry to evaluate lymphoproliferative diseases) and HPV genotyping (for screening women for risk of cervical cancer).

Others include Tissue bio-repository services to facilitate basic, developmental and translational studies in many areas of cancer research, including molecular biology, immunology and genetics, as well as forensic sciences notably STR analysis for disaster victim identification, disputed paternity tests and criminal investigation like the semen, blood stain, hair shaft, among others.

“The vision of the designers is to put an end to outsourcing of critical tests from overseas facilities at exorbitant costs, which are often beyond the reach of the average Nigerians,” he said.

While calling for continued public support in building capacities at the teaching hospital, the CMD remarked that the newly-commissioned centre shall promote multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary partnership to foster a healthy and harmonious atmosphere for quality and excellent health care delivery in all fields of clinical care.

Professor Alonge noted with concern that an evaluation of the major causes of death carried out in UCH last year, revealed that cancer remained the topmost killer disease from the hospital record from 2012 to date, with prostate cancer, cervical cancer and breast cancer forming the bulk of the cases, “hence the decision of UCH to partner the oldest Cancer Institute in the World to find out how they managed to sustain their excellence and replicate same here in Ibadan.”

Also speaking on the occasion, coordinator of the newly-commissioned Diagnostic Centre, Dr Olayiwola Oluwasola, who is one of the children of the donor, attributed Pa Oluwasola’s gesture to his belief in contribution to human development from his God-given endowments.