What is the cost of a radiotherapy machine? We are not talking about the maintenance here but the cost money of purchasing one?
Could it be the reason Nigeria and most other African CNN countries lack these important cancer machines? For example, it is reported that Nigeria with an estimated population of 200 million have only 2 functional radiotherapy machines?
This is not a site for political discourse but do you know modern radiotherapy machines cost about $4million which is around 14 billion in Nigerian currency?
Radiotherapy machines are also expensive to maintain. It takes about $1 million and #360million to maintain the machine yearly because it is prone to breakdown especially in countries with epileptic power supply and poorly competent manpower to operate the machines.
According to UK Cancer Research, it is recommended that the radiotherapy machine be replaced every 10 years with modern ones. That means the machines have a life span of about 10 years and after which it should be taken to the museum and replaced with updated models. According to Vancouver, a new model of radiotherapy machine just launched by cost about $6.5million which is #23billion Naira.
With the recently approved health budget, Nigerian Government will have to spend the whole money in buying only 26 machines for the whole federation. This means other areas of the health sector like immuzation, malaria control, HIV/AIDS control, and public awareness will be abandoned and the health workers will not be paid their salaries.
Apart from Eko Hospitals in Lagos, most private hospitals cannot afford radiotherapy machines.
But how can government and private health investors fund our the radiotherapy demand by cancer patients? We need to start encouraging private investors to invest in the health sector. Nigeria is a poor country and in my opinion, quality health care cannot be left in the hands of government alone.
What do you think? Please leave a comment.