Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has said that the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centre in the state was conceived to save the lives of Rivers’ people and Nigeria at large.
“It is so sad to see so many people dying because they do not know that they have cancer or heart related diseases and are unable to afford the cost of going abroad for medical attention,” Wike said, while inspecting work at the health facility at Rumuokwuta town and the sand-filled area located in Ogbum-nu-abali town in the state on Tuesday.
He said that given the facility in the state, those suspecting they had cancer or any heart related diseases could diagnose it on time, adding that experts in those fields would also be attracted to the centre to support the staff strength so as to provide the best medical attention to Rivers people and Nigerians.
“So to us, it will act as medical tourism. It will earn foreign currency for us, People will come from outside Nigeria, just like we travel overseas all the time.
“For example, see the facility that we have at the Government House clinic today. That has reduced the level of people traveling overseas. Look at me, I have not traveled since 2019 because we have the best equipment that will take care of whatever that is diagnosed.
“The Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centre will reduce the time our people spend going overseas to spend money. Again, it will reduce the level of death from the problem of cancer and heart diseases,” Wike said.
He explained that the importance attached to the project made the government to pay 70 per cent of the contract sum to Julius Berger, assuring that the remaining funding would not be a problem.
Wike expressed optimism that the project would be completed by July 2022, given the commitment already demonstrated by the contractor.
Speaking further, Wike stated that politics was beyond political meetings, there was governance in which there is an effective monitoring of activities and projects to ensure that promises made to the people were fulfilled.
“We have made promises to the people; we brought the Minister of Health to lay the foundation stone of this cancer centre. God willing, come 2022, we will bring back the Minister of Health to commission this facility,” he stated.