Repair of Mpilo hospital radiotherapy machines starts

 Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu,

HEALTH and Child Care Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora says work to repair the radiotherapy machine used in cancer treatment at Mpilo Central Hospital has started with the machines expected to be running soon.

He said the Government had injected USD$2, 3 million last year in October to fix the machines whose perennial malfunctioning has left cancer patients without access to treatment .

The other machine is housed at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare and these two machines are the only ones available in public health institutions.

This comes at a time when experts have bemoaned that a majority of cancer patients present late when nothing much can be done to help them cure the disease which accounts for 2 500 deaths in Zimbabwe annually.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe (CAZ), the most frequently occurring cancers among Zimbabweans of all races were cervix uteri (21 percent prostate (11 percent),  breast (8 percent) non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (5 percent), oesophagus (4 percent), Kaposi sarcoma (KS) (4 percent colo-rectal (4 percent), stomach (3 percent) and liver(3 percent).

Parirenyatwa’s last functional radiotherapy machine, which was secured with the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency almost a decade ago, broke down in 2020.

It had been the only working radiotherapy machine at a public hospital in the) ohen. Mpilo’s last machine had broken down a year earlier.

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