STANBIC has extended a US$20 0000 donation to the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe (CAZ) which will go towards the purchase of chemotherapy drugs for cancer patients.
By Michael Gwarisa
The donation comes at a time Zimbabwe is facing foreign currency woes to purchase drugs for various ailments including cancer drugs.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Stanbic Bank board member, Mr Kingstone Kamba said the central bank had prioritised the issue of drugs purchases at this critical time.
“According to the report from the association, our contribution from last year assisted 65 patients, and we were encouraged to do more and assits an even greater number of patients to acquire the assistance they greatly required.
“We are grateful to CAZ for involving us in the fight againt cancer and also for managing the funds with due care to ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the fund. Today we will be contributing $20 000.00 towards the purchase of chemotherapy drugs and to answer the question that most are eager to ask at this moment, yes, it is in United States dollars,” said Mr Kamba.
He applauded the central bank for prioritising medication on foreign currency allocations to the procurement of critical drugs.
“It is imperative that the chemotherapy patients get access to their prescribed medication at all costs, which is why we put in the special request for this donation.
“As we continue working together for this greater good, we are also looking for different avenues through which we can make a difference in our country and in the lives of many Zimbabweans who have unfortunately been affected by cancer.”
Stanbic is also working to with CAZ to renovate their hostel for cancer patients which is located at Harare Central Hospital. The hostel will house cancer patients for free as they receive treatment from Parirenyatwa Hospital.
Meanwhile, Cancer Association of Zimbabwe (CAZ) managing director Mrs Junior Mavhu applauded the gesture by Stanbic and called on stakeholders and citizens to come up with more innovative ventures of raising funds for cancer treatment.
“I was looking and observing how people are becoming hyper about Cholera and I was just thinking if we were going to be crowd funding for cholera, how many people we would be able to save from that money.
“Yes Cholera is killing people but cancer is killing more people that cholera but very slowly. Worldwide, 9.2 million people die from cancer every year and one in every six deaths is cancer so this is alarming but as a nation we are not doing enough for us to be able to treat those that are diagnosed with cancer,” said Mrs Mavhu.
In Zimbabwe, more than 7000 new cancer cases are diagnosed every year according to the 2015 and 2018 statistics and fears are that the figures might even be more alarming that the current stats.
“We assist at least 30 to 35 cancer patients every month, these are not all cancer patients that we have, and these are just fraction of the cancer patients that are on chemo.
“In 2017, we assisted 272 patients and this was a 30 percent increase from 2016. When we look at the figures they are increasing on a yearly basis but the funds are not increasing. And because of this high burden we thank the partners like Stanbic who come to our rescue,” added Mrs Mavhu.