Dr Anna Mary Nyakabau, a practising Oncologist, during the handover of cancer medication donated by Maisha Cassava in partnership with Cancerserve to the Ministry of Health and Child Care yesterday revealed that the country’s cancer strategy had expired and the country was operating without one.
Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro called for the revival of that strategy and tasked the Acting Secretary for Health, Dr Gibson Mhlanga to ensure that the National Cancer Prevention and Control Strategy for Zimbabwe was put in place.
“You mentioned Dr Nyakabau that the cancer strategy expired in 2018, Dr Mhlanga we want that resuscitated, shall we say this week… so by Wednesday next week (8 July 2020) we will be done.
“Dr Nyakabau we want that resuscitated, we don’t want to leave things and wait for everything to fall on us; I don’t subscribe to such thinking,” said Dr Mangwiro.
The Health Deputy Minister called for the decentralisation of cancer radiotherapy to provinces so that most people can easily access the service without travelling very long distances.
“Our centres of excellence where radiotherapy is done are Parirenyatwa and Mpilo, Dr Mhlanga we should make an effort to make sure that we must have these radiotherapy centres in nearly every province so that people do not travel far as some people continuously fail to come because its expensive for them to have that, transport might be too much for them,” noted Dr Mangwiro.
The country last had the National Cancer Prevention and Control Strategy for Zimbabwe 2014 – 2018 and now plans are underway to come up with a new one given that cancer is killing people like any other disease.