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US-funded Cancer Centre and Specialist Hospital Inaugurated in Lagos

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The government of the United States of America funded Marcelle Ruth Cancer Center and Specialist Hospital (MRCC), Lagos, was commissioned yesterday.

The new healthcare facility, which is reputed to be Nigeria’s first comprehensive cancer treatment center, is equipped with cutting-edge American medical diagnostic equipment developed and supplied by GE Healthcare and Varian.

The MRCC was founded by Dr. Modupe Elebute Odunsi.

The U.S. Consul General, Ms. Claire Pierangelo, along with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, formally opened the Cancer Center and Specialist Hospital.

Pierangelo said that the establishment of the MRCC represented yet another example of the strong partnership between American and Nigerian private sectors to significantly improve public health outcomes.

She noted that the United States would continue to lead the world in medical research, innovation and technology that would provide solutions to tackle the scourge of cancer and bring happiness to many, as demonstrated by the ingenious medical devices developed by Varian and GE Healthcare.

Pierangelo lamented the heavy emotional and financial burden cancer placed on patients and their loved ones and expressed optimism that the new health facility would make cancer treatment available locally and significantly reduce medical tourism for cancer care.

She said: “We can only hope that more centers like the MRCC will emerge and that all stakeholders in the health system continue to take big strides towards defeating cancer. Varian, GE and other U.S. medical equipment suppliers are ready to be reliable partners in such an effort.

“It is heartwarming to know that Marcelle Ruth Cancer Center and Specialist Hospital is the first comprehensive healthcare center in Nigeria and perhaps the whole of Africa, with the most advanced radiotherapy treatment. With these diagnosis and treatment capabilities now available in Nigeria at the MRCC, Nigerians do not need to travel overseas again to seek medical solutions for any kind of cancer.”

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nigeria recorded nearly 125,000 new cases of cancer in 2020 and about 79,000 cancer-related deaths. That means every hour, fourteen Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer and nine dies as a result.

Currently, Nigeria has between three and five out of a minimum recommendation of 150 working medical linear accelerators.

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EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja

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The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.

Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.

“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.

Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.

He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.

The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.

“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.

The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.

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Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea

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President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.

Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.

The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.

The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.

The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.

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Senate Passes Bills To Establish Two Federal Universities in Ekiti, Nasarawa states

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The Senate on Tuesday passed two bills seeking to establish two federal universities in Ekiti and Nasarawa States.

The bills are the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital (Establishment) Bill, 2021.

Both bills are sponsored by Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), and Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South).

The passage of both bills followed the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, said the bill to establish the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital was “necessitated as a result of the precarious health conditions faced by the resident.”

According to him, the bill to establish the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State, seeks to promote and emphasize teaching, research and extension of knowledge in the field of medicine and environmental sciences.

In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed a third bill to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards) Act.

The bill’s passage by the upper chamber followed consideration of a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Senator Oloriegbe in his presentation explained that the amendment bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the University Teaching Hospital, Lafia and Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital.

In a related development, a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Education, Kaiama, Kwara State, scaled second reading during plenary.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North).

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was considered, referred it to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

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