Zimbabweans suffering from cancer related ailments have appealed to the government and its partners to inject more financial resources into the diagnosis and treatment of the disease so that treatment services become more decentralised and less costly.Â
Most ordinary Zimbabweans diagnosed with cancer rely on government institutions for treatment due to high costs associated with the disease.
However, the situation currently obtaining in two of the countryâ€™s government institutions is gloomy with revelations that only one radiotherapy machine situated at Harareâ€™s Parirenyatwa Hospital is operational.
A visit to the Radiotherapy Centre at Parirenyatwa Hospital clearly shows how desperate the situation is becoming.
Some patients who are receiving treatment at the centre lamented lack of equipment and the high costs involved.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Cancer treatment services are available at Parirenyatwa Hospital and Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo but some private institutions also offer services which are very expensive.
Stakeholders continue to lobby government to create a funding mechanism similar to the AIDS levy as about 7000 cancer cases are attended to at government hospitals each year.
Founder of a Medical Aid Society, Dr Munyaradzi Kereke said the private sector must also come on board and introduce medical aid schemes or insurance covers to cushion cancer sufferers.
The HIV and AIDS pandemic is augmenting the rate of HIVÂ related cancers, with 60% of new cancers in Zimbabwe being associated with HIV and Aids, according to the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry Report of 2005.