A US$10 million cancer treatment facility has been opened in the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare as the country seeks to fight the killer disease affecting thousands of Zimbabweans. The Oncocare Cancer Treatment Centre is equipped to detect cancer, facilitate chemotherapy, radiation treatment and a specialised cancer retail pharmacy. In addition, it has a highly experienced team of medical specialists, which included oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, physicians, biomedical engineers, and experts in oncology pharmaceuticals.
This new clinic will enable Zimbabweans to access medical attention at an affordable price instead of flying out to countries such as India and South Africa for treatment. At least, an estimated 1200 people in the country die annually of cancer since they cannot afford the treatment since the costs from examination, diagnosis, lumpectomy, surgery to chemotherapy/radiotherapy runs into thousands of dollars.
“The disease burden in Zimbabwe is overweighed by the high prevalence of HIV at 15% in the adult population. This has led to a big strain on the national healthcare budget. Gone are the days when people had to travel out of the country for treatment, we are here to serve them,” Oncocare chief executive officer Ben Deda said.
According to the government of Zimbabwe, cancer is becoming more threatening than HIV/AIDs. In 2011, recorded cases were 5,553, while in 2012 cases stood at 6 107 before escalating to 6,548 in 2013. The clinic will supplement services offered by the Government at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare and Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.