Zimbabweans suffering from cancer-related ailments are struggling to access chemotherapy as the country is only left with one working radiotherapy machine which is at Parirenyatwa hospital.

This came out at a belated World Cancer Day commemorations held at Africa Unity Square in Harare.

The commemorations were held under the theme: “Preventing cancer and raising quality of life for cancer patients – together it is possible.”

Dr Portia Manangazira, who was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, said the other machine at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo is no longer operational.

World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr Custodia Mandhlate urged world leaders to abide by the promise they made at the United Nations Summit in 2011, in relation to reducing the impact of cancer.

A founder of a medical aid society, Dr. Munyaradzi Kereke called on health funders to work towards incorporating a health cover scheme or insurance for people affected by such diseases as cancer which are costly to treat.

Cancer is killing more people globally, than HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria combined, though in Zimbabwe figures are much lower.

Stakeholders continue to lobby government to create a funding mechanism similar to the AIDS levy.

Plans to develop the national cancer prevention and control strategy are at an advanced stage.