President Peter Mutharika says the National Cancer Centre Malawi has begun constructing will bring hope to cancer patients in the country.
Mutharika was speaking on Wednesday when he presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the K5.8 billion National Cancer Centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe.
The Malawi leader said the National Cancer Centre will allow Malawians who are suffering from cancer to be treated in the country rather than going abroad.
Mutharika admitted that it has taken long to start building the cancer centre but he promised to make sure that the centre is completed in one and a-half-year period.
“People wait for months and even years to be sent abroad for treatment, but now with the constructing of the cancer centre, patients will no longer have to travel abroad for treatment,” he said.
The president also vowed to improve health facilities in the country saying his government considers the health of Malawians of paramount importance.
“My government will make sure that you have better health facilities so that we can save lives of our brothers and sisters,” he said.
According to Mutharika, many of the development projects his government has lined up are health centres and hospitals.
In his remarks, Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume said the building of a national cancer centre is a welcome development as the country continues to register a lot of cancer cases which need radiotherapy.
“We have a lot of cancer cases especially among our women. If you talk of breast and cervical cancers, both need special treatment which we don’t have at the moment in the country. Government is spending a lot of money sending cancer patients for treatment abroad but once we have this cancer centre operating, sending patients abroad will be history,” Kumpalume said.
The National Cancer Centre will be built with funding from OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).