OVER 50 per cent of women diagnosed with cancer at Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) are suffering from cervical and breast cancer, ‘Sunday News’ has learnt.
BMC Nuclear Medicine Physician, Dr Benard Gombanila, said lack of a special ward for cancer patients had been posing challenges to their treatment as most of them did not attend a medication schedule accordingly.
“Despite the fact that the hospital offers both chemical and radiation therapy services, lack of ward to accommodate these patients has been a challenge because most of them become distressed, thus failing to attend treatment,” he said.
“BMC is the only public facility which provides such services in the Lake Zone and neighbouring regions, including Tabora and Kigoma,” he said.
The number of cancer patients in the Lake Zone attending the hospital has been increasing from 320 in 2009 to 4,900 in 2015 and nearly 15,000 cancer patients last year.
To ensure people receive required services, the hospital has pledged to start the construction of ward for cancer patients whose budget estimations reach 5.4bn/-. According to him, about 1.5bn/- has been contributed by the hospital and staff.
He said 1bn/- had been contributed by the hospital, while 250m/- had been raised by BMC members of staff. He called on more stakeholders to support the construction of the building.
He added that the government through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children had set aside 1bn/- for the construction of the building.
Meanwhile, Dr Gombanila has noted that other reported cases at the hospital include prostate cancer, which is leading among men patients, followed by oesophageal and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Children are also at risk, comprising almost 30 per cent of all cancer patients at the hospital, with the majority being diagnosed with Burkit lymphoma, kidney and blood cancer (leukaemia).
While waiting for the coming new cancer facility expected to be in use by the end of this year, BMC has been conducting a regular public awareness campaign, encouraging members of the community to go for regular health checkups.