By Ifeanyi Onuba
The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority has convened critical oncology stakeholders and strategic partners at the maiden edition of the NSIA Oncology Summit in Lagos.
The move, according to a statement from NSIA on Wednesday is to drive collaborations amongst partners and improve overall patient outcomes in cancer-care.
Participants at Summit included over 200 medical professionals in oncology, over 11 Nigerian tertiary hospitals as well as over 10 external collaborators from the University of Chicago; American Oncology Institute India; American Society of Clinical Oncology (‘ASCO’); Bio Ventures for Global Health (‘BVGH’); Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre; American Association of Physicists in Medicine (‘AAPM’) and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (‘UPMC’).
At the Summit, medical professionals split into focus groups across various specialty areas to discuss barriers to oncology care in Nigeria, possible solutions to address same and retention plans for homegrown talent.
Speaking at the Oncology Summit, the Managing Director, Aminu Umar – Sadiq noted that “this is an important first step in bringing together key oncology stakeholders to enhance the quality of cancer care in Nigeria.”
Healthcare has been an investment sector of focus for the Authority.
The NSIA set up the NSIA Healthcare Development Investment Company (‘NHDIC’) to address medical infrastructure gaps, develop strategic collaborations to improve patient care and enhance the talent pool of medical professionals.
In 2019, NSIA established the NSIA – LUTH Cancer Centre (‘NLCC’) – a world-class out-patient oncology centre which has since attended to over 10,000 unique cancer patients.
The statement said the Authority also invested in two diagnostic projects co-located within the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.
The NSIA is now in the process of scaling these interventions, with 3 additional Oncology centres, 23 additional diagnostic centres and 7 catheterization laboratories across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
NSIA’s wholly owned medical services portfolio company, Medserve has been set up to implement these projects.
Furthermore, the Authority said in the statement that given the prevalence of dated medical equipment, poor operation and maintenance of same, the NSIA has set up another wholly owned subsidiary called Equilease Systems Limited to offer alternative financial solutions to care providers, to ease the burden of high acquisition and maintenance costs of modern medical equipment through strategic partnerships with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
Medserve and Equilease will jointly allow the NSIA to be the largest provider of medical infrastructure in Nigeria.