Veteran Oncologists, Dr Nyakabau Retires From Parirenyatwa Oncology, Cherishes Team Work At The Institution

RENOWNED Oncologist, Dr Anna Mary Nyakabau has retired from Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals after having served for 33 years at the same  institution where she rose through the ranks to become one of the most sort after Consultant Specialist Oncologists in the country.

By Michael Gewarisa

In an Interview with HealthTimes, Dr Nyakabau said Parirenyatwa Hospital opened up various life opportunities for her and for that, she will remain indebted to the institution.

I am very grateful for the companionship, understanding and teamwork I experienced at Parirenyatwa hospital over the almost three decades I worked there since 1987. Every experience was a pleasure and privilege that led to personal growth.

“Whilst at this institution, I was able to pursue further studies which led to my attaining several further academic qualifications in addition to the basic medical degree. These include the Radiotherapy &Oncology Qualification (1993), Diploma in Palliative Care at UCT (2006), Master In Public Health (2011). Recent certificate qualifications include Health Advanced Leadership for Zimbabwe teaching course (May 2017) and UICC course  Patient Engagement in Cancer Care  (October 2020),” said Dr Nyakabau.

At the time of her retirement, Dr Nyakabau was stationed at the Radiotherapy Centre where she gave the best of her skills and knowledge in providing cancer treatment services to Zimbabweans coming from all over the country.

“I also had the privilege to be selected to sit on several boards local and international. I also had the honour and opportunity to present on cancer at various platforms including conferences, print and electronic media. I was involved with the Ministry of Health and Child Care in championing many cancer initiatives including Cancer Strategy development, Cancer Advocacy initiatives and I represented the Ministry on a number of high level meetings on cancer locally and internationally. In  August 2019 I was assigned the role of  acting Minister Of Health at a Palliative care conference in Rwanda. I really felt this as the highest level of honor.”

During her tenure at Parirenyatwa, Dr Nyakabau also received some awards including the Zimbabwe Medical Association Award for Outstanding service in Oncology (August 2017).  In 2018, the following year, she also founded Cancerserve trust which is now a PVO and she is the current chairperson of the trust

“Fortunately, over the years we have managed to train and mentor young and dynamic oncologists who have taken up roles and have been gradually taking over many of the clinical roles. It has been rewarding and fulfilling to see them grow. Now we boast of 10 qualified oncologists from only 2 at some stage. Life had become increasingly comfortable and less challenging. I decided to step out of the comfort zone to further challenge myself.

“As a retiree, I leave the department end of 2020 which was a difficult year in all spheres cancer included. . However, in hardships growth is still possible as we strive , pulling together in the same direction for better health care. I remain dedicated to Oncology service in Zimbabwe and hope to collaborate with existing stakeholders in designing and implementing projects that serve the cancer cause. Through Cancerserve and other initiatives, this will be possible,” said Dr Nyakabau.

She says the retirement “is a form of restructuring and realignment of  my purpose.”

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