United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard has highlighted the U.S. government’s commitment as well as Varian’s efforts to significantly improving public health outcomes in Nigeria.
Delivering remarks at a reception in honor of Varian and attended by members of the Nigeria’s oncology community, Ambassador Leonard noted that the United States continues to lead the world in medical research, innovation and technology, providing solutions to tackle the scourge of cancer through medical devices developed by American companies.
Ambassador Leonard commended the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority-Lagos University Cancer Centre (NLCC) and the Marcelle Ruth Cancer Centre (MRCC) for sharing in the vision of improved cancer care in Nigeria and investing in cancer diagnosis and treatment facilities equipped with the latest technologies designed and manufactured by Varian.
“Investment in lifesaving cancer diagnostic and treatment machines will improve outcomes for Nigerians,” Ambassador Leonard said. “Additionally, this investment at home will reduce instances of medical tourism and increase the capacities for medical service providers.”
Varian’s Head of Government Affairs and Market Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Dr. Kevin Massoudi, explained that Varian has been investing heavily in Africa and that Nigeria is of particular importance given the high cancer incidence and mortality rates. He noted that technologies such as those Varian manufactures are critical in the fight against cancer and that Nigeria currently has significantly low access to these treatment opportunities.
Quoting World Health Organization statistics, Massoudi expressed concern that cancer incidence and cancer related deaths could almost double in Nigeria by 2040.
“The medical technology to save lives exists. We need to ensure that those in greatest need obtain access. Where we live should not determine if we live.” Massoudi said. “We recognize that we must all intensify our efforts to defeat this dramatically increasing cancer burden.”
Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company, headquartered in Palo Alto, California for over 70 years, is the global leader in radiotherapy and has the largest footprint across Africa. Varian develops, builds and delivers innovative cancer care technologies and solutions for clinical partners around the globe and helps them treat millions of patients each year.
Varian has recently expanded across Nigeria and has made a commitment to continue to collaborate with local partners to create greater access to cancer care in the country.