Oncology is the study of cancer. An oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer and provides medical care for a person diagnosed with cancer. The field of oncology has three major areas: medical, surgical, and radiation.
The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof Nelson Brambaifa, has promised that the interventionist agency will endow a professorial chair in Oncology at the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT. This follows a similar endowment of a professorial chair in malaria research for the university in 2016.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer was speaking during the opening ceremony of the 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Medical Association, Rivers State branch, in Port Harcourt.
Prof. Brambaifa, who was chairman of the occasion, noted that the theme of the conference: “Leveraging Social and Environmental Determinants of Health,” was most appropriate at this time, as many non-communicable diseases were on the rise, as a result of social and environmental factors.
He assured that the NDDC would spare no effort to ensure that the people had access to quality healthcare and would continually promote good healthcare practices for a healthier Niger Delta.
He said: “Our mission, which is to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta, comes with a demand on the NDDC to improve the people’s health and well-being. Like the NMA, therefore, NDDC is sparing no efforts in intervening in healthcare delivery, by providing health infrastructure, improving access to healthcare, as well as in taking free healthcare to the more indigent communities of the region.”
Brambaifa stated that one of the first decisions taken by the current NDDC management was to revive the free healthcare programme, which he said was very popular and beneficial. He added: “I am happy to inform you that we have put everything in place to resume the treatment of our people, free of charge, taking healthcare to the creeks and communities of the Niger Delta.
“Indeed, this programme has been one of the most significant interventions by NDDC. On the last count, the free healthcare mission has treated over 1.2 million documented patients, ranging from simple diagnoses to complicated surgeries. Altogether, we have visited about 3,500 communities and managed 6,000 referral cases.”
The NDDC boss affirmed that the Commission would continue to partner with NMA, as experts in the health sector, to provide quality healthcare to remote communities in the Niger Delta region.
In his remarks at the conference, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, represented by his deputy, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo, commended the NDDC for collaborating with the NMA in carrying out outreach programmes for people living with disabilities as well as its promise to endow a Professorial Chair in Oncology.
Governor Wike said studies had shown that the interplay of social factors, such as life style, education, housing, agriculture and the environment, determine the health conditions in the society.
Earlier the Rivers State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Obelebra Adebiyi, said the leading causes of death in the world today were non-communicable diseases of long duration and generally slow progression, noting that managing these conditions required behaviour change and adoption of a healthy life style.