Building Bridges of Hope
Transportation Access – Enhancing Accessibility to Treatment and Testing.
Getting patients to the designated medical centre in Nigeria for medication and PCR tests requires transport assistance. As part of these visits, PCR tests are administered to detect genetic markers in their blood so that Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) can be assessed and medication collected. Unfortunately, transport problems can make it difficult for patients to access their medications and receive necessary PCR tests, leading to delayed treatment and poor outcomes. You can help patients who may otherwise be unable to access healthcare due to financial hardships with lifesaving medications and testing.
Maxcare Foundation Nigeria aims to improve treatment outcomes of patients living with CML through provision of adequate knowledge and peer support.
Their project is aimed at assisting patients with transport costs to the ONLY designated centre to receive drugs and also carry out much needed PCR tests to evaluate the disease.
Due to the peculiarities of the healthcare system in Nigeria which does not provide insurance for cancer patients, the only way to access Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) for patients living with CML is from the generous drug donations received from The Max Foundation through its Max Access Solutions. These very expensive drugs which are out of the reach of the average person, is available at only ONE designated Centre located at the South Western region of the country. Patients have to travel distances estimated as far as 200kms – 1000kms to reach this Centre to assess this life saving medication, as the key to successful treatment outcomes require over 95% adherence to the drug. At this Centre, patients are able to also expected to carry out PCR tests to monitor the disease.
The lack of necessary funds by many patients to visit the clinic to assess this drug (which has this high level of adherence) and also carry out necessary tests has sadly cost the lives of some patients.
The average costs range from $65 (for the short distances less than 200kms ) to as high as $250 (for longer distances from 400 – 1000kms in some cases ) and this is NOT inclusive of accommodation costs are some journeys take as long as 2 days to arrive at the Centre. For patients coming from much longer distances, their average cost per trip is about $250 – $400 (all inclusive). These costs are simply prohibitive as many patients living with this disease are average income earners with an average income of $50 – $100 /month.
The region highlighted in BLUE (in the diagram above) is the location of the treatment Centre where patients have to travel to get access to their medications. The regions in white represent other states of the Country where patients have to travel from to get to the treatment Centre.
The diagram above is a schematic map of the whole country showing the states and the geo-political regions. As earlier stated, some distances are as low as 200kms which others are as high as 1,000kms with many patients having to book hotels to stay overnight as they are unable to travel back to their homes the same day. This further adds to their overall expenses.
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