Acting President lauds Kidzcan
“This was as you know, presented at the Parliamentary Conference in Victoria Fall after the problem was effectively raised by Kidzcan and we supported their request, and the Ministry of Finance has agreed that as government we should give money for the treatment of cancer just like we do for HIV/AIDS,” he said.
He added that Zimbabwe would do more for children suffering from cancer and will join hands with the world in this trajectory.
“Zimbabwe has expressed interest in adopting the Global Childhood Cancer Initiative, which is being supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).Through this initiative, Zimbabwe will be supported to strengthen diagnosis and treatment facilities for children with cancer and ensure they have access to the essential cancer medicines they need.
The government has setup a health fund for children suffering from cancer which will enable them to get free treatment for the first time in the history of Zimbabwe.
This follows a free cancer treatment for children advocacy campaign by KidzCan last year.
The Acting President Constantino Chiwenga who is the Minister of Health and Child Care announced this in his keynote address to delegates at the World Cancer Day on 4 February 2022 commemorations held at Harare International Conference Centre.
“In the year 2022 the Ministry of Health and Child Care in collaboration with multiple stakeholders will strive to continue working towards the introduction of free treatment for cancer patients. For the first time we have created a fund for cancer to be included in the budget of the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“Let me take this opportunity to salute those who continue to work tirelessly to improve the landscape of cancer control in Zimbabwe.
It is acknowledged that more work needs to be done to ‘close the gap’ in the provision of cancer services. Thus, in the year 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care in collaboration with multiple stakeholders will strive to work towards the introduction of free treatment for cancer patients and increase awareness campaigns targeted at the public focussing on early detection and prevention of cancer.” Said Dr Chiwenga.
The Acting President pledged to implement government policies that ensure access to prevention, early detection and prevention of cancer and to ensure inclusion of cancer in the package for essential services that can be accessed at the various levels of health care.
WHO country representative Dr Alex Gasasira, also in attendance, said countries must continue to work towards increasing survival rate among children, which is below 20% in the developing world while above 80% in the developed world.
Speaking at the same meeting Kidzcan Executive Director Mr Daniel Mackenzie was appreciative of efforts from government and partners.
“KidzCan continues to lobby for more support from government and other partners like the National AIDS Council (NAC), (WHO) and St Jude, who now have come up with the Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer to increase the survival rate of the 6 most common cancers to 60% by the year 2030.
It is time we closed this gap. Also, thanks to St Jude announcing support of USD 200 million to 12 countries with chemotherapy drugs for 6 years.” Said Mackenzie.
The fund will cater for the establishment of state of the art health facilities, treatment, promotion of awareness programmes and related services.
KidzCan is a Humanitarian Child-Centered Private Voluntary Organisation dedicated to increasing the survival rate of children suffering from cancer and blood related disorders in Zimbabwe.
The work includes offering bus fares, admission packs, diagnostic imaging, chemotherapy drugs, psychosocial support and nutritional support to children suffering from cancer.