Saturday 11 November 2023


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The GOVERNMENT has purchased a set of new advanced radiotherapy machines used to treat cancer, which will soon be installed at two major public hospitals.

Funding has also been secured to procure high-tech radiosurgery devices used in highly complex procedures to treat cancerous tumours and other lesions in the brain and body. The latest developments are expected to enhance cancer treatment services in public health institutions.

The Sunday Mail has gathered that Treasury recently spent US$2,4 million to acquire cutting-edge radiotherapy machines for Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Mpilo Central Hospital — the two biggest public hospitals that offer cancer treatment.

Plans are at an advanced stage to acquire Gamma Knife machines for the two institutions.

These are stereotactic radiosurgery devices that use gamma radiation beams in intricate procedures to treat tumours in brains, spinal cords and sensitive body parts.

An additional US$2,3 million has been released by Treasury to fund the repair of five radiotherapy machines — three at Parirenyatwa and two at Mpilo.

Parirenyatwa’s last functional radiotherapy machine, which was secured with the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency almost a decade ago, broke down in 2020.

It had been the only working radiotherapy machine at a public hospital in the country until then. Mpilo’s last machine had broken down a year earlier.

Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said Government was expediting the procurement of cancer diagnosis, management and treatment equipment.

“As we speak, we have paid US$2,4 million for the acquisition of radiotheraphy machines for Parirenyatwa and Mpilo hospitals,” he told The Sunday Mail.

“The next phase is to procure Gamma Knife machines to deal with brain tumours.”

Prof Ncube recently told legislators at a pre-budget seminar that Treasury was considering expanding its “sin tax” regime to cover fizzy drinks to raise additional funding for the health sector to deal with cancer and other non-communicable diseases.

Presently, the tax is levied on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.


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