By Dan-Maryam Zayamu
The Director General of the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT), Prof. Usman Malami, has solicited the support of members of the Nigeria Society for Haematology and Blood Transfusion in order to improve cancer care in the country.
He made the appeal at the 2023 Annual Scientific Conference of the Nigeria Society for Haematology and Blood Transfusion, in Abuja.
“We are counting seriously on your support. NICRAT is an institute that will have a very strong role to play in the area of research and treatment of malignancies and I want to assure you that this Society will not be left behind, henceforth, in the activities that we do,” Prof. Malami stressed.
He, however, disclosed that in the near future, the Institute will establish a department for the management of hematological malignancies.
Hematologic malignancies are cancers that begin in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, or in the cells of the immune system. Hematologic malignancies include leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma
He vowed that NICRAT will work closely with hematologists in the country, noting that: “We are currently at the foundation stage, trying to build the Institute so that in the near future, we intend to have an institute that will house virtually all the scientists that are needed, most especially, in the area of medical oncology.
“In other countries, most of the oncologists double as medical oncologists. I believe that by the time the Institute matures, we will begin to have hematologists doubling as medical oncologists because definitely, we are going to have a department for that where leukemia and, indeed, all other hematological malignancies will be managed.”
While applauding the organisers of the scientific conference, Prof Malami said: “It is on behalf of NICRAT that I welcome you all to this occasion and also use this opportunity to announce that NICRAT is a friend to the Nigeria Society for Haematology of Nigeria.
“Knowing that we are at the foundation level, we have one of your members who is a foundation Director of Clinical Services of the institute. He has been of great help to the Institute.”