Malawi Government and PLEM Construction Limited have signed a contract to complete the last phase of the Cancer Centre by building bunkers to accommodate radiotherapy machines.
This means people affected by cancer could have access to cancer treatment options in the country within six months.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Principal Secretary (PS) for Health Dr Charles Mwansambo said the development is a significant milestone in Malawi’s quest for a vibrant healthcare system.
“Am glad that we have finally signed these contracts and work will commence immediately, as you know we have been waiting for radiotherapy services for a long time in the country and we have been sending cancer patients abroad for treatment which we would have been doing right here,” said Mwansambo, further disclosing that the machines were already procured and only await completion of the bunkers.
The PS then urged the contractor to deliver in time, emphasizing that the country will save a lot by having the bunkers soon.
Director for PLEM Construction Jay Izrishnan said they are eager to finish the project in the given time space or sooner, adding that his company understands the importance of the project.
He said: “We appreciate the gap that exists in the absence of radiotherapy services and know that people are affected therefore we will ensure to deliver quality work including working throughout the Christmas holidays so that we complete the project in time”.
According to the Ministry of Health, the initial project implementation period was February 2017 to December 2019 but was delayed due to the suspension of the construction of radiotherapy bunkers which had design and initial construction issues.
The first phase saw the construction and completion of an administration block, consultation block, chemotherapy suite, three wards and treatment block.
PLEM Construction Limited will construct two brachytherapy bunkers and four radiotherapy bunkers.
Currently, outpatient and chemotherapy services are being offered at the Cancer Centre which is situated at the Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe.
Reported by Rachel Gonani