Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo on Wednesday inaugurated a multi-billion naira mammography and diagnostics centre built in Onitsha by TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other partners.
A mammography centre is a medical facility where women can go for regular breast checks, as regards cancer of the breasts and related tumours.
The newly-installed mammography machine at Onitsha General Hospital, which was constructed and equipped for the government and people of the state, has the capacity to take up to one hundred and twenty examinations per day.
The multi-billion naira mammography and diagnostics centre was built by TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and partners, as part of their corporate social responsibility projects to the people of the state.
Inaugurating the facility, Governor Soludo emphasized the need for early detection of breast cancer to check the increasing number of deaths among women, resulting from late detection of the cancer.
The governor, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, said the centre will help check one of the most common causes of death among women and other tumours.
“Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer in women, and when it is detected early, it will help to save life and resources.
“So, it is a way of us to serve the communities and serve our people, and the essence of this is that when the cancer is discovered on time, it can be removed it and it will be treated,” he said.
Obidike said government will ensure that people are well sensitized and well informed about the mammography centre at Onitsha, so that they can make use of it.
He said; “At the end of the day, our people will not have any reason to travel out of the state or the country to get their diagnosis done.”
The Governor assured that the facility which would be affordable, will be fully utilized and properly maintained, urging women from 35 years of age and above to make good use of the centre.
“As government, what I am promising you is that this mammography centre will be very functional and made one of the best in the country.
“We will make it as affordable as possible. We want it in a way that the money that will be charged will be the money that will just be used for maintenance, buying of diesel, etc.
“The governor has mandated us to deliver quality healthcare to people of the state.
“He has alsos employed five radiographers to make this work, because having this without people to make it work is nothing. So, we now have equipment and personnel,” he said.
In her remarks, the Chief Medical Director of General Hospital, Onitsha, Dr Ebelechukwu Anugwu, who is an obstetrician gynaecologist, described the project as a good development for Anambra state and women of the state particular.
“As an obstetrician gynaecologist, I understand what this means for our women especially, because internationally, from the age of 35, women are expected to come often and have a mammogram done to check whether they have cancer of the breast,” she said.
She assured the project facilitators, the government representatives and the community that the facility would be well used.
Earlier, in his speech, the chief Upstream Investment officer of the NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, Mr. Bala Wunti, who was represented virtually by Mrs Toluderin Adefua, who joined virtually also appealed to women in the state to maximize the use of the facility.