Japan gives Cameroon $92m medical lab grant

Japan has donated $92 million multipurpose medical laboratory to Cameroon.

The two countries Friday signed an agreement that will see installation of the laboratory at the Cameroon Pasteur Centre (CPC) in Yaoundé.

Japanese ambassador to Cameroon Kunio Okamura, who inked the agreement on behalf of the donor country, said the grant was aimed at reducing the risk of cancer and other infectious diseases.

Types of cancers

Some cancer patients in the country of over 20 million people often have to wait for more than two weeks to have their medical examination results, most of which were done abroad.

CPC acting director Suzanne Belinga said the gift from the Japanese government would enable the centre conduct affordable analyses of patients with different types of cancers.

“And to better carry out research on cancer and related infectious diseases,” Dr Belinga said in the presence of Cameroon’s Public Health minister Andre Mama Fouda.

Specialised hospitals

Cancer patients in Cameroon say the up to $9,000 treatment cost in the Central African state, were beyond many people's reach. Furthermore, the treatment was only offered in specialised hospitals in the country’s two largest cities.

The three most common cancers in Cameroon are cervical, breast cancer and prostate, with an estimated 15,000 new cases diagnosed annually and a prevalence of about 25,000 cases throughout the country.

Experts say most cancer-related deaths were never recorded.

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