Over the period of last few years, India has emerged as one of the leading nations among the popular medical tourism destinations. This is primarily because of two major reasons – the highly affordable cost of medical treatment and quality of medical service and expertise available at the top notch hospitals within that price range.
Because of these reasons, many patients from around the world travel to India. The best hospitals in India are a boon for not only the patients from medically advanced countries with expensive healthcare costs, but also from poor and not-so-advanced countries who seek quality, yet affordable medical treatment. Patients from such countries cannot travel to countries with expensive healthcare, even when they are located close to their home country.
One such country is Nigeria. Each year, thousands of Nigerians travel to India to seek quality medical treatment at affordable cost. The top hospitals in India, on the other hand, provide their full support in treating Nigerian patients, who show up for a number of treatment and procedures including heart surgery, spine surgery, cosmetic surgery, cancer treatment, organ transplantation and orthopaedic surgery.
Cancer treatment in India is one of the most common reason behind the visit of a Nigerian to the country. This is primarily because of two reasons. First, the cost of cancer treatment in India is highly affordable and of superior quality. Second, cancer treatment in Nigeria is not up to the mark.
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Status of Cancer Patients in Nigeria
It is estimated that more than 100,000 people in Nigeria are diagnosed of some form of invasive cancer. Of these patients, more than 80,000 die annually because of several reasons. Some of the leading reasons include unavailability of diagnostic and treatment facilities, poor quality of healthcare, absence of hospitals that could treat cancer patients and unavailability of trained oncologists and other doctors and surgeons.
In fact, cancer is one of the most difficult and extremely expensive condition to treat in Nigeria. A combination of all these factors force Nigerian cancer patients to look forward to other countries for support in terms of inexpensive and quality medical treatment with great results, and India tops the list.
While cancer treatment in Nigeria is available only to few patients who have an upper hand when it comes to financial status; the poor patients in the country have little or no hope of treatment and eventually die of some or the other form of invasive cancer.
Another major hurdle in getting an access to proper treatment for cancer in Nigeria is the fact that there are limited number of radiology machines in the country, and that too are confined to just two or three major government hospitals. With a population of over 170 million, it is, thus, nearly impossible for every cancer patient from the remotest corner of the country to seek treatment on time.
Cancer Treatment Options
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy, in addition to surgical treatment, hold the key to treatment of different types of cancers. The former two types of cancer treatment options are used extensively for the treatment of almost all types of cancer and therefore, the dearth of machines used to provide radiation treatment in Nigeria force its nationals to go to other countries to seek cancer treatment.
Cancer treatment options in India include the use of radiotherapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, surgical removal of cancer and associated organs and bone marrows therapy. In certain cases, hormone therapy is also available. For example, prostate cancer treatment in India involves the use of a combination of the aforementioned therapies, in addition to hormone therapy.
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Cancer Treatment Cost in India
India is one of the leading countries with affordable cancer treatment. By offering quality medical services at minimal cost, India helps give a new lease of life to thousands of cancer patients travelling from Nigeria and several other countries.
The cost of cancer treatment in India is less than the half of what it costs in other Western countries that offer similar level of medical care, including the UK, US, Singapore and the UAE. The best hospitals in India are at par with any other leading hospitals in the world and are equipped with the latest technology used for the treatment of cancer patients.
Cancer Treatment in India
The top cancer treatment hospitals in India such as Medanta The Medicity, Apollo Hospitals, Fortis and Max Healthcare house some of the best oncologists in India. In addition, these hospitals offer special packages to the cancer patients travelling from abroad and also take care of their boarding, lodging and food needs.
All these facilities are provided at a nominal cost. Special care is taken to make Nigerian patients comfortable in a foreign environment by offering them several miscellaneous facilities such as foreign money exchange, telephone service and translator.
Role of India in Nigerian Healthcare System
As per 2012 estimates, more than 40 percent of Nigerians who got visas to India travelled for the purpose of medical tourism. On an average, Nigerians travelling to India spend as much as $260 on medical treatment upon their arrival in the country.
India plays an important role in the Nigerian healthcare delivery system. This is evident from the fact that the Government of India has set up a specially designed specialist units for cancer treatment and eye care for Nigerian patients. The announcement was made back in 2014.
Moreover, healthcare delivery in Nigeria has been further strengthened by several Indian pharmaceutical and drug delivery companies. They have made their presence felt in Nigeria.
There are several hospitals and clinics in India that run one of their special branches in Nigeria and thus help provide treatment to thousands of Nigerian patients each year. Meanwhile, the influx of patients from Nigeria to India continue to rise more than ever before, thanks to low cost medical treatment, practically no waiting time and high quality of medical services.
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