Cancer patient petitions Parly over poor services

A CANCER patient yesterday petitioned Parliament to enact legislation to create an integrated approach towards addressing cancer as an emergency national health burden.

Nyasha Mpame submitted the petition while appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health led by Ruth Labode.

“There is apathy in research and investment into cancer and a national cancer Act will provide for the appointment of a cancer board, which can assist in collaborations with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, private players and other stakeholders in implementing cancer programmes, facilitating and funding research into cancer treatments, including in alternative medicine,” Mpame said.

According to the Zimbabwe Cancer Registry 2017 annual report released in 2020, the latest data available, the country recorded 7 659 new cancer cases in 2017.

Of these cases, 42,7% were male, and female 57,3% female.

According to the report, the frequently occurring cancers include cervix uteri, which accounted for 20% of the recorded cases, followed by prostate cancer 10%, breast cancer 8%, karposi sarcoma 5%, non-hodgkin lymphoma 5%, colo-rectal 4% and liver 3%.

The country faces challenges in cancer care as a consequence of a poorly equipped healthcare delivery system, with the chances of survival of cancer patients low.

There are only two public facilities with capacity to offer radiotherapy cancer treatment in the country — Parirenyatwa in Harare and Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.

But the radiotherapy cancer machines at the two institutions are reportedly breaking down constantly.

“Compel the Ministry of Health and Child Care to have the radiotherapy machines at Mpilo and Parirenyatwa hospitals repaired urgently and to have a permanent maintenance solution by year end,” Mpame said.

She added: “Invite and receive representations from relevant stakeholders and interested parties to contribute towards the achievement of a permanent solution not only with regards to the radiotherapy machines at the two public hospitals but in other areas in cancer care in Zimbabwe. Oblige the Ministry of Health and Child Care to implement the National Cancer Prevention and Control Strategy for Zimbabwe.”

She also called for the decentralisation of cancer treatment services.

Source – NewsDay

Post published in: Featured

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *