By G9ija

A medical expert and Chief Medical Director CMD), Igbinedion University Teaching Hospital (IUTH), Prof. Godwin Bazuaye, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to grant waivers for transplant drugs to reduce the cost of treating sickle cell disorders and cancer-related ailments.

Bazuaye, who made the call while briefing journalists on the first successful stem transplant at the IUTH in Okada, Edo State, said stem cell transplantation was a cutting edge medicine that takes two to three months.

He noted that sickle cell anemia was a burden to many families in Africa, adding that he had successfully carried out 12 transplants for sickle cell patients and appealed for government’s support to reduce the disease.

He said waivers for transplant drugs would reduce the cost of treatment for patients and address medical tourism, adding that most patients who suffered from the ailment usually sought medical attention overseas, especially India.

Bazuaye said the feat was made possible through partnership with experts from Igbinedion University Okada (IUO), IUTH and Celltek Healthcare Medical Centre.He explained that the team performed the successful Autologous Stem Cell Transplant for a patient with multiple myeloma (Bone Marrow Cancer) at the IUTH.

“We charge the Federal Government and all necessary agencies to collaborate with IUTH and IUO to providing Africans with a centre of medical excellence and medical tourism.

“The IUTH and the IUO are currently transforming the health sector to provide a centre of excellence and medical tourism in Okada. This is the beginning of our plans to retrofit and reposition IUTH as the centre of excellence and medical tourism in Africa,” he stated.

He disclosed that the IUTH is establishing an Ultramodern Diagnostic Centre and Radiotherapy Centre with the latest technology for total body irradiation, as well as an International Transplant Centre (ITC) for stem cell, kidney, other organs transplant and In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

He sought synergy with the Federal Government on cure of sickle cell anemia, stressing that the ITC, to be located in Okada, would be the first in Africa to provide Africans medicines that cost over N8m in Europe and America.

Vice Chancellor of IUO, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, commended the collaboration of experts at the Centre for Genetic Disease and Stem Cell Research, Department of Hematology at IUTH for the medical feat.