KIDZCAN Zimbabwe, in conjunction with the United Refineries Company, has officially handed over a cancer ward at Mpilo Hospital in a bid to lessen the burden of children suffering from cancer.
BY DUDUZILE NDLUKULWANI
The beautifully renovated oncology ward is open to the children aged between zero and 18 years, fighting cancer.
“This does not only give them victory, but gives them the courage to fight with hope and greater hope!” Kidzcan director, Daniel McKenzie said.
He urged mothers to present themselves to their nearest clinics with their children for early cancer screening.
“Kidzcan wishes to see an increase in the survival rate from 23% to at least 60% by early detection of cancer in children and ensuring the utmost quality of life, for children living with cancer, in a loving and caring environment,” he said.
MacKenzie, whose organisation has been supporting over 3 000 children, with about 35 kids daily, said there are about 3 000 to 5 000 new cancer cases in Zimbabwe. He appealed to the ministry to allocate at least a certain percentage of drugs available to the children.
Mpilo chief executive officer Leonard Mabandi said people suffering from cancer in Matabeleland have been forced to travel to Harare for treatment.
He thanked United Refineries and Kidzcan for helping cut on travel expenses.
The organisation’s head of advocacy and fundraising, Maureen Maradzika, concurred: “Mpilo has allowed this ward for cancer patrons and care givers to come in, kids to have their chemotherapy before they travel as this is essential for the kids, especially considering that some of the kids will be travelling long distances after their chemo therapies.”
Kidzcan is a voluntary organisation providing free chemotherapy drugs, specialised diagnostic imaging services, specialised laboratory services, supportive services such as prosthetics, nutritional and discharge packs, as well as assistance with transport services to children fighting cancer.
United Refineries chief executive officer, Busiswa Moyo, said: “We can’t change everyone, but everyone can make a difference.”