By Michael Gwarisa
ZAMBIA’s Cancer Diseases Hospital (CDH) which was established in July 2007 after a Presidential Declaration for the provision of free treatment of cancer to all Zambian citizens has charmed Zimbabwe which is also battling a huge cancer burden.
Briefing a Parliamentary session yesterday, Gokwe Gumunyu legislator, Melania Mahiya applauded Zambia for putting up such a facility as well as prioritising the fight against cancer.
“Due to the rapid increase in the number of cancer patients, there has been significant scaling up of capacities and support in cancer
management and treatment in Zambia. The Government of Zambia opened a Cancer Disease Hospital (CDH) in Lusaka, in July 2007 after a Presidential Declaration for free cancer treatment to all Zambians, and a progressive incremental budget allocation that followed.
“The CDH offers cancer patients state-of-the-art radiation and chemotherapy services as well as palliative care for cancer patients within Zambia and the surrounding region. The CDH has 252 beds, a chemotherapy unity with 80 beds and a nuclear medicine unit with eight (8) beds. To complement the services offered at CDH, the Government of Zambia planned to establish satellite cancer treatment centres at provincial level,” said Mahiya.
The CDH has 252 beds, a chemotherapy unity with 80 beds and a nuclear medicine unit with eight (8) beds. To complement the services offered at CDH, the Government of Zambia planned to establish satellite cancer treatment centres at provincial level.
To this end, the Government of Zambia has mobilised resources to fund the construction of two satellite cancer centres in Ndola and Livingstone in 2017.
Other health facilities throughout the country offer cervical cancer screening and Loop Electro-surgical Excision Procedure (LEEP).
To this end, the Government of Zambia has mobilised resources to fund the construction of two satellite cancer centres in Ndola and Livingstone in 2017. Other health facilities throughout the country offer cervical cancer screening and Loop Electro-surgical Excision Procedure (LEEP).
The findings came from a Zambia fact-finding mission on cancer management and provision of blood which was conducted by Parliament of Zimbabwe from 25 June to July 1 2017. The delegation was led by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly,
Hon. Mabel Chinomona.
“In light of the above key issues, the Zimbabwe delegation, in its report recommended that a fact-finding Parliamentary mission be sent to Zambia to learn about how they were managing cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment with a view to replicate the same in Zimbabwe.
“To this end, the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care resolved to undertake a study visit to Zambia to learn the best practices in cancer control.”
Meanwhile, the delegation noted that despite the growing cancer burden, cancer continues to receive a relatively low public health priority in Africa, largely because of limited resources and other pressing public health problems, including communicable diseases such as acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (AIDS), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, malaria, and tuberculosis.
General lack of awareness among policy makers, the general public and international private or public health agencies concerning the magnitude of the current and future cancer burden and its economic impact was also identified as impediments to the cancer fight.
The mission’s objectives included establishing the involvement of the Health and Finance Ministers in mobilising and prioritizing resources towards cancer awareness, research, treatment, control, training and cancer treatment equipment, as well as provision of blood services among other things.
Globally, there are 14 million new cancer cases accounting for 8.2 million deaths, constituting close to 13% of the total deaths worldwide while 70% of cancer deaths occur in low and middle income countries, the majority of which are in Africa.