Sheba’s Humanitarian Mission to treat Pediatric Eye Cancer Lands in Nigeria
On 9 January 2022, a team of five pediatric specialists from Sheba arrived in Ilorin, Nigeria to improve treatment outcomes for pediatric eye cancer patients.
The mission is scheduled to dedicate five days to treating patients, training local medical staff (doctors, practitioners, specialists, and staff) and establishing an intra-arterial chemotherapy center that will continue to treat cases in the long term.
Approximately 1 out of 15,000 children in Nigeria suffer from a pediatric ocular cancer called retinoblastoma, which can be fatal when left undiagnosed and untreated. Unfortunately, this is often the case in nations like Nigeria with limited access to healthcare resources.
At Sheba, our specialists utilize intra-arterial chemotherapy, a form of chemotherapy administered through a catheter inserted into the artery as a treatment option for retinoblastoma. The advantage of this treatment is that it delivers the medication directly to the tumor, reducing the exposure of healthy tissue to chemotherapy.
Earlier this year, Dr. Dupe Ademola-Popoola of Ilorin, Nigeria, reached out to Prof. Ido Didi Fabian, an ocular oncology specialist at Sheba’s Goldschleger Eye Institute, seeking his support in opening a treatment center for retinoblastoma patients.
“Intra-arterial chemotherapy is a highly effective treatment modality that can make a significant difference in the outcome of cancer treatment, and it is something that we have a lot of experience with at Sheba,” said Prof. Ido Didi Fabian.
As part of Sheba’s Global Impact initiative, Prof. Fabian and a delegation of doctors from Sheba arrived in Nigeria, among them Dr. Gal Yaniv, an interventional radiologist; Dr. Shani Caspi, a pediatric hemato-oncologist; Dr. Michal Ivri, a pediatric anesthetist; and Dr. Matan Arazi, an ophthalmology resident. “Together with my Sheba colleagues, I am honored to have the opportunity to share our knowledge and skills with our local colleagues in Nigeria and to work together to treat infants with this life-saving treatment,” Prof. Fabian said.
Sheba’s Global Impact initiative supports the implementation and delivery of healthcare solutions on a
global scale, forming networks of medical professionals to bring modern treatments to developing countries. Sheba’s humanitarian missions bring hope for a better life to patients around the world.
“Sheba’s commitment and dedication to extending a hand to those in need across the globe is a fundamental guiding principle for us,” said Mr. Yoel Har-Even, Head of Sheba Global. “The mission to Nigeria will feature some of the most talented physicians we can offer, enabling us to not only treat many patients but to also sow the seeds for future advancement in the region. There is a great sense of pride to be able to contribute to humankind and offer hope without boundaries.”