'Cancer treatment must be accessible'

HARARE - Thokozani Khupe, the Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister, says cancer treatment in the country is not only expensive, but inaccessible and her newly-launched foundation would transform this.

In launching her Thokozani Khupe Cancer Foundation on Wednesday, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) deputy leader vowed that the initiative would transform the lives of cancer patients through rigorous cancer advocacy.

“The board of this foundation will work tirelessly to improve the plight of cancer patients throughout Zimbabwe,” she said. “Doctors cure but God heals. I always want to be a good advocate for cancer, so I will not lie to you saying stop taking treatment and go to pastors but you must do both.

“Many women who suffer breast cancer are dying daily due to the expensive cancer treatment. It costs $450 a session when a person requires at least three sessions a week,” Khupe said.

She said government should reduce cancer costs to $50 so that more women van have access to treatment.

Khupe who is a breast cancer survivor said government should give due prominence to cancer treatment so as to stop people from dying.

“This is my plea to the government of Zimbabwe; it is high time we give prominence to cancer because it is killing people. It is a silent killer and you only know about it when you are about to die,” Khupe said.

Speaking at the launch, Henry Madzorera, the minister for Health and Child Welfare, lamented the delayed acceptance by many patients, which he said, complicated treatments are due to late diagnosis.

“Let us wake up; non-communicable diseases have come to roost in Africa.”

He encouraged the involvement of men in the fight against breast cancer.

“When you show women the wounds, show men also, so that they have sleepless nights. They should be conscientised because you cannot fight it without them,” he said. - Own Correspondent

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