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
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.