Lesotho will start making notable savings from next year in its Cancer response after completion of Cancer units at both the under-construction Queen Elisabeth II (QE II) Hospital, which will serve as a Maseru district hospital as well as at the Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital.
Ministry of Health’s Director General, Dr Nyane Letsie says Lesotho spends no less than M12 million a month in transportation and treatment of cancer patients in South Africa which totals M114 Million a year adding that this money will significantly go down as patients will now be treated in the country.
This she said today at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Maseru during commemoration of the world cancer day under the theme “closing the care gap”
The theme means that a cancer diagnosis has the potential to push families into poverty, particularly in lower-income countries, an effect that has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Plans are underway for the construction of a cancer hospital with chemo unit, machinery for mixing drugs, at the under-construction QE II and the Reginal cervical cancer treatment center at Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH),” Letsie said.
Dr Letsie said the first Mosotho oncologist has resumed duty and has already conducted baseline assessment adding that two more Basotho are undergoing clinical oncology training.
She said from January to November, 2021 Senkatana Centre of Excellence (Oncology and Cervical Cancer Clinics) provided different types of treatment ranging from symptomatic, radiation, chemotherapy, chemo-radiation, surgery to a total of 488 (01 refusal of treatment) oncology clients.
“Mainly treatments in the form of surgery was done in-country while chemotherapy, radiation and many more required that clients be referred to Bloemfontein for further management and advanced treatments; with government paying for their transport and treatment costs ranging from M150,000 to M200,0000 depending on the individual requirements,” she said.
She said every year on February 4 people across the world observe World Cancer Day in order to create awareness, inspire change and reduce the global impact of cancer.
“The aim is to reduce misconceptions surrounding cancer and the prejudices associated with it, to help people in getting the right information about it. It also offers a chance to make an impact in the betterment of the life of cancer patients and survivors,” she said.