Abigail Klein Leichman
January 19, 2023

During a five-day humanitarian mission last week to Ilorin, Nigeria, five specialists from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center treated pediatric eye cancer patients and worked to increase the capacity for long-term optical care in southern Nigeria.

Because an estimated 1 in 15,000 Nigerian children suffer eye cancer, the mission focused on treating children with a type of cancer called retinoblastoma, which can be deadly if not caught early.

Israeli MDs go to Nigeria to treat children’s eye diseases
Sheba Medical Center staff training local doctors in Ilorin, Nigeria, January 9, 2023. Photo courtesy of Sheba Medical Center

The team, led by ocular oncologist Dr. Ido Didi Fabian, also established an intra-arterial chemotherapy center to provide ongoing care for eye cancer patients in the region. This treatment delivers chemotherapy directly to the tumor through a catheter inserted into an artery, allowing for higher doses of chemotherapy while minimizing the exposure of healthy tissue to the drugs.

“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 Fabian.

“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 lifesaving treatment.”

“Sheba’s commitment and dedication to extending a hand to those in need across the globe is a fundamental guiding principle for us,” said Yoel Har-Even, Director of the International Division & Resource Development at Sheba Global.

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