Funds Key In Addressing The Cancer Burden

Availing of funds towards Cancer programs has been noted as key in the fight against the disease in Zimbabwe.

By Hamu Madzedze

Speaking to journalists who attended the National AIDS Council media workshop in Chinhoyi, the Director for family health in the Ministry of Health and  Child Care  Doctor  Bernard Madzima said there is a need for commitment by the political leadership through availing funds towards addressing the Cancer challenge.

He added that there is need to support cancer in general as the treatment is expensive for the average  Zimbabwean.

“Cancer treatment is beyond the reach of many patients and most of them end up selling their properties in order to meet the treatment cost”, said  Doctor  Madzima.

He also noted that at times for patients undergoing chemotherapy they need up to four thousand dollars to complete treatment which is beyond the reach of many patients.

“Currently patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy have to fork out money from their pockets and for those, without medical aid, they are facing a  huge  challenge”, he said.

The  family  health director  said the availability  of funds  can even enable  patients  to  access drugs  like  morphine and   pethidine at
an affordable and subsidised price.

Meanwhile, he said  30 000 women  have  so far  been  screened  for cervical cancer  using  the visual inspection  with acetic acid
(VIAC) .

However, he pointed out that more needs to be done in reaching women as they are targeting to screen 3 million women by 2020.

Globally  8.2 million people die from cancer every year and in Zimbabwe over  7000 new cancer cases are being reported every year and more females are being affected by the disease as compared to men.

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