National Cancer Centre to become partially operational next month

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Government says the National Cancer Centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) will become partially operational next month.

Officials from the Ministry of Health told a cluster Parliamentary Committee on Health, HIV and AIDS and Nutrition that the cancer centre will be opened by 1st October, 2019 since 95 percent of the construction has been completed.

According to the Ministry of Health, the contractor is remaining with construction of a bunker to house the radiotherapy and chemotherapy equipment.

The ministry’s spokesperson Joshua Malango said in July that the construction of the bunkers would take six months.

He added that the oncology unit at KCH will be providing services from the cancer centre while works on the bunker are still going on.

The cancer centre is being constructed with a $13 million (about K10 billion) loan from Opec Fund for International Development (Ofid).

The Malawi Government also makes financial contributions for the works. In the 2019/20 budget, part of the K101 billion allocated to the Ministry of Health will be used for construction of the cancer centre.

Government hopes construction of the centre will reduce expenditure on external referrals of patients for specialized care.

Currently, patients in need of radiotherapy treatment for cancer are sent to countries such as India with some patients being funded by the government.

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