Govt urged to invest in chemo

At least, 70 percent of cancer patients who undergo radiotherapy need chemotherapy in order to achieve the best results, says Parirenyatwa Hospital Radiation Oncologist, Webster Kadzatsa.

“The danger with cancer is that it spreads to other body parts invisibly. When we treat cancer patients using radiotherapy on the affected part of the body, there is need to also treat them using chemotherapy which treats the whole body,” said Kadzatsa during a recent tour of the newly refurbished Parirenyatwa Group of Hospital’s radiotherapy hospital.

Kadzatsa urged the treasury to subsidise cancer drugs that he said were readily available but very expensive.

In 2002, the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry recorded a total number of 151 childhood cancer cases comprising 89 boys and 62 girls. Recent reports from the government show that out of 5,000 new cancer cases, up to 1,300 people die from the disease annually.

“Now that we have world class radiotherapy equipment there is need for the government to subsidise chemotherapy so that we can treat patients more effectively,” he said, adding that at least 15 patients a day need chemotherapy.

The Parirenyatwa Radiotherapy Hospital used to have a single 2100C radiation machine before the government invested $8 million in 2011 to upgrade the radiation services.

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