MUTASA Central MP Trevor Saruwaka (MDC-T) has urged government to declare cancer a national health crisis to enable local and international donors to channel more resources towards its treatment.
Saruwaka made the remarks early this week as he handed over $415 donated to Kizito Nyakunika, a breast cancer patient, by formers students at St Augustine’s High School in Penhalonga.
This was after Nyakunika (63) early this month appealed for emergency cash donations to enable him to complete his chemotherapy sessions at Parirenyatwa Hospital.
Said Saruwaka: “Many Zimbabweans are dying from the disease without being diagnosed or treated due to ignorance or failure to access medication because of the astronomical costs of cancer drugs. It is too expensive to get diagnosed and to get treatment. Maybe the government and corporate organisations should come up with a system or a pool fund where people can be helped.”
Public hospitals no longer provide subsidies and free services for cancer patients due to lack of funds.
According to statistics provided by the national cancer registry, cancer has emerged as the disease with the highest mortality rate, killing more people than malaria, tuberculosis and the HIV and Aids epidemic combined.