Power and Politics

Party leader, Silavwe, queries govt slow response to tackling cancer diseases, calls for emergency


Golden Party Zambia (GPZ) has urged the United Party for National Development (UPND) led government to declare cancer a national emergency crisis.

GPZ president, Jackson Silavwe, said Zambia was in urgent need of its own reliable cancer treatment institutions following over 70 percent of cancer diagnosis leading to death in the country.

“On average Zambia records 8,672 cancer related deaths and 13,831 new cases every year according to the Ministry of Health,” he said.

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In a statement issued in Lusaka on Monday, Silavwe stated that government confirmed that nearly 500 patients were waiting to receive radiotherapy at the Cancer Disease Hospital (CDH), whose equipment was outdated.

“Government has further stated that during the planned revamping of the CDH in Lusaka, there will be no access to radiotherapy services during this period,” he said.

Silavwe claimed that government had sent 39 patients to India since the collapse of the cancer treatment deal with Tanzania’s Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI).

However, Silavwe wondered how many more of cancer patients government would manage to send to India before new equipment was installed at University Teaching Hospital (UTH).

He said the Indian intervention was welcome but that government needed to define a specific time frame to when it will fully re-equip and re-capacitate the CDH.

“What is the selection criteria for cancer patients being sent to India?” he inquired.

He further questioned how cancer patients would be finding themselves on the cancer treatment narrow list.

Additionally, Silavwe called on government to prepare a supplementary budget this year to hasten the purchase of cancer treatment equipment at CDH.

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