Government ringfences cancer budget

Source: Government ringfences cancer budget | Sunday Mail (Top Stories)

Rumbidzai Muparutsa
Government has spent $3 million on cervical cancer control and will ensure that allocations received from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for the exercise are ring-fenced.

Health officials say cancer screening and treatment is one of Government’s top priorities.

First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, who was recently appointed as the Ambassador of Maternal Health in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, is expected to lead numerous projects in the next two years.

Government plans to screen 3,2 million women for cancer by 2020.

More than 500 000 women have already been screened in the past three years.

Director of Family Health in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Bernard Madzima recently said most of the funds received are being used to procure medicines required in the ongoing programmes.

“Cancer is under the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) budget, whereas cholera is under Epidemiology and Disease Control.

“We have allocations from the RBZ, the Health Levy and Health Support Fund collected from institutions. This is being used to procure medical commodities with support from our partners.”

Government has partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Health Organisation (WHO), Cancer Association of Zimbabwe (CAZ) and Island Hospice & Health Care in the battle against cancer.

It is believed that Government is working towards strengthening the comprehensive approach to the Cancer Control and Prevention programme, which covers cancer prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

Dr Madzima said, “We have to do more to combat other cancers such as breast and prostate.

“Currently, most of the allocated resources are being used for screening but we want to strengthen the treatment component, especially radiotherapy centres at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare and Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo.”

Early this year, Government vaccinated 800 000 primary school girls against cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).