People of Bulawayo and surrounding areas are set to benefit from the radiotherapy special system that has been installed at Mpilo Central Hospital at a cost of US$100 000.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com at the medical facility, Clinical Director, Solwayo Ngwenya said the project will now ease power cut challenges especially when treating cancer patients.
He said interrupted power cuts during treatment of cancer patients pose life threatening challenges.
“Our hospital’s uninterrupted power supply room was completed recently and special batteries installed at a cost of US$100 000,” Ngwenya said.
“Before this vital equipment was installed, our radiotherapy machines were expensive to repair each time there was a power outage as the machines broke down. As it is a specialised sensitive equipment, we would have to fly engineers from South Africa to fix it.
“This is vital because when we put cancer patients on treatment, we want them to complete a cycle of three or six weeks. If we suffer from an interrupted supply, and the patient does not complete the treatment, the cancer comes back very fast and kills that person. So, this is a life saving development and it is going to help a lot of patients.”
Ngwenya said before the upgrade, when the radiotherapy machine was down, people either died or they had to travel to Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare which was a challenge for patients with no relatives or friends in the capital city.
“This is going to provide a local service here; there are only two machines in Zimbabwe. So, this is a big development for the people, they are going to benefit and they are going to complete their cancer treatment without having to worry about power cuts,” said Ngwenya.
According to the clinical director, there are several other initiatives that have been implemented at Mpilo Hospital to improve the conditions at the medical facility.
“The hospital has improved vastly, there has been refurbishment of wards, theatres and we recently received equipment from the Presidential Scheme of baby incubators, monitors and we have also put new floors.
“We have also reduced the death rates at our hospital. People used to die a lot here. We used to receive 20 or so deaths per month and now it is down to five which is quite a dramatic change,” Ngwenya said.