By Staff Reporter
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Zimbabwe’s largest healthcare provider, is facing a critical shortage of cancer treatment options due to malfunctioning radiotherapy machines and limited access to vital drugs. This situation leaves many patients stranded and unable to receive proper care, often succumbing to their illness.
According to officials, the radiotherapy machines at Parirenyatwa have been out of operation since 2019. This has resulted in cancer patients being left stranded and succumbing to their illness without receiving treatment.
Speaking during a handover event of a donation of cancer medicines worth US$50 000 from CABS Bank and TM Pick n Pay supermarket on Tuesday, head of radiotherapy department at Parirenyatwa, Nothando Mutizira said most cancer patients do not afford treatment and they still hope doctors can give them solutions.
“We as doctors find ourselves in a difficult situation where sometimes we prescribe treatment to patients who come back to us empty handed and tell us that they could not afford what we prescribed but they still want a solution from us
“As you know we have had a challenge with our radiotherapy equipment for a while but we are thankful that the engineers who are meant to come to fix our machines came for the initial assessments to see what needs to be fixed, what supplies they need to buy in order to fix these machines.
“So they have done their initial assessment and they will be coming back in the near future to actually fix the machines so we are looking forward to our radiotherapy machines being up and running in the very near future,” she said.
In the meantime, Zimbabwe has only one working radiotherapy machine which is privately owned and cannot be accessed by many.
Meanwhile, current statistics from the Zimbabwe Cancer Registry, reveal that there were 7,500 recorded cases of cancer and 2,500 deaths in 2018 and the numbers have increased since then.