The Abuja Metropolitan Lions Club has launched a N50 million fund for equipping of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital’s Oncology Centre.
The charity group said this would help in combatting cancer in children and give the victims of the deadly disease a ray of hope.
Speaking during the fundraiser in Abuja on Saturday, the club’s outgoing president, Mr Michael Aniekan said over N30 million was expended on the oncology centre at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
According to him, the club donated a 20-bed oncology treatment ward to the teaching hospital but the centre was not operational due to lack of equipment to treat patients.
He added that N50m was needed to equip the centre to be fully functional.
Aniekan stated, “In the service year 2021/2022, we are so particular about pediatric cancer. Our signature project this year is to consolidate what we had done earlier.
“Last year during the height of COVID-19 in Nigeria, Lions Club was able to put together a 20-bed oncology centre donated to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital.
“Today is another opportunity to bring people to put together our common wealth to equip the centre and put it to full use so that children who are faced with cancer will have a ray of hope.
We expect to get a substantial amount to kick start full equipping of the centre.
“It is my desire that today we put together an average of N50m for us to get best of equipment that can help these children find succour as it relates to health care.”
According to him, pediatric cancer, diabetes, environment, optics and hunger are five focal areas of the club.
Aniekan noted that the club focused on pediatric cancer for its 2021/2022 project because it was among the common non-infectious causes of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide.
He added, “The Oncology Department of the UATH has worked assiduously with minimal space and equipment and has recorded some successes in the management of these patients. Over 100 children with cancer cases were hospitalized and treated in the last 36 months.
“You will agree with me that if given more facilities and motivation, the unit is likely to increase the success rate in the management of paediatric cancer.”