President Muhammed Buhari in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony for the African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE), a hospital project that aims to transform the healthcare sector in the West African sub-region, Buhari said the “flight of doctors and nurses to other continents” and inadequate medical infrastructure have created poor access to quality healthcare and increased death rates from diseases such as diabetes and cancer in Africa.
“Cardiovascular ailments, cancers and hematological disorders have increasingly become matters of concern to public healthcare. These ailments are now the highest contributors to non-communicable disease (NCD) mortalities, representing more than 81 percent of all NCD deaths in West Africa.
“The World Health Organisation projects that deaths on the African continent attributable to cancer and diabetes are expected to rise over the next 10 years. The rising NCD burden coupled with inadequate medical infrastructure on the continent threatens the future of our people.
“This problem is further exacerbated by the significant brain drain experienced by the continent. The flight of doctors and nurses to other continents has resulted in a significant gap between the required treatments for NCDs and the available treatments and care.
“The above challenges combine to create a regional health market with poor access to critical services and low perception of quality of care available.’’
“The success of the AMCE will pave the way for future investments and partnerships in the sector while raising the local standard of healthcare and providing a blueprint for quality of services required to address Nigeria’s and Africa’s healthcare and economic challenges.
“The AMCE represents a return to fundamentals, and the understanding that there is no African development agenda without able-bodied Africans to execute our vision of transformation.”