The government, through Health Minister Sylvia Masebo, has revealed plans to facilitate the treatment of cancer patients requiring radiotherapy in Tanzania. The initiative aims to ensure patients’ access to treatment during the rehabilitation phase of the Cancer Diseases Hospital.
Addressing Parliament, Minister Masebo affirmed that while the procurement process is in progress, no patients have been dispatched to Tanzania for treatment. The impending arrangements are anticipated to cover various costs associated with the treatment, including transportation, accommodation, meals, and the radiotherapy itself. The estimated cost per patient for the treatment course is approximately US$4,500.
The selection and referral process will be diligently managed by an ad-hoc committee at the University Teaching Hospital in collaboration with the Cancer Diseases Hospital. This collective effort aims to assess patients and make recommendations for their referral to Tanzania.
The Ocean Road Cancer Institute has shown its willingness to accommodate an additional 40 Zambian patients, in addition to the patients they are already treating. This collaboration is a significant step in ensuring that Zambian patients receive the necessary treatment during the rehabilitation period of their local medical facilities.
The treatment itself spans six to seven weeks, implying that patients will be evacuated to Tanzania every two months, ensuring a continuous treatment cycle until the Cancer Diseases Hospital is fully operational.