Mpilo Hospital resumes radiotherapy services

By ZBC Reporter

Radiotherapy services have resumed at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo following Government’s intervention which resulted in the repairing of the machines and the deployment of a physicist.

After close to eight months of not being able to receive treatment following the breakdown of machines at Mpilo Central Hospital, cancer patients from the southern region are happy to be back on treatment.

I have faith that now the machines are up and running I will get better and the cancer will go away now that I am on treatment,

I am getting chemotherapy treatment here, the doctors are very friendly and they also advise us on how to take care of ourselves even when we go back home,

We are now getting treatment although the problem is now on getting the medication because it is very expensive,said some of the patients.

Mpilo Acting Chief Executive Officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya expressed gratitude to the Government for ensuring that treatment resumes.

The government has helped us a lot, the Honourable Vice President Chiwenga came here and helped us get some foreign currency funding which enabled us to repair our radiotherapy machines, currently they are now up and running and we are able to radiate patients, we are very happy and grateful to government for providing us with the necessary funding as you saw that the machines are sensitive and they need close monitoring and maintenance,noted Ngwenya.

Chief Medical Physicist in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Lawrence Matiwa highlighted that demand for medical physicists and biomedical engineers is a global challenge.

The main challenge we have is to service the machines we have here. We don’t have a resident engineer. Every time the machine breaks down we have to fly one from South Africa because currently we don’t have biomedical engineers’ specialising in the linear accelerator plus we also have a shortage of qualified medical physicists in the country. Highlighting from the fact that we don’t have a resident engineer in Zimbabwe the best solution would be to train our own engineers in Zimbabwe and also try to remunerate the physicists so that they don’t go to other countries like what they did in Zambia,he explained.

Government has also availed funding for the procurement of an uninterrupted power supply system for the radiotherapy department following a visit to the hospital last year by Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care.