Malawian citizens can find relief in the impending realization of the long-awaited K8 billion National Cancer Centre Construction Project, which is on track for completion by mid-November 2023. The announcement was made in Lilongwe during a site visit by Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda and Information and Digitization Minister Moses Kunkuyu, who aimed to assess the progress achieved in the project’s initial phase.
Minister Chiponda conveyed to the media that the construction of radiotherapy and brachytherapy bunkers has experienced delays due to its intricate nature, necessitating heightened precautionary measures to prevent radiation leaks upon completion. She emphasized that while chemotherapy services are already available for cancer patients, the crucial aspect of treatment—radiotherapy, which employs radiation to eliminate cancerous cells—will commence by December.
Chiponda expressed gratitude to President Dr. Chakwera for prioritizing the project’s completion, which had faced setbacks in previous years. She acknowledged the patience of Malawians who have long awaited the establishment of this vital facility, noting that cervical cancer claimed the lives of over 2000 Malawian women in 2022—a dire situation that will be mitigated once the bunkers are fully operational by year-end.
Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu emphasized the transformative impact of the National Cancer Centre’s completion, heralding an end to the financial strain of sending patients abroad for treatment. Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, Subbiah Gopalakhrishnan, accompanied the ministers during their tour and highlighted his government’s contribution to the project, including the construction of one of the bunkers. Gopalakhrishnan underscored the robust development partnership between India and Malawi, particularly in the health sector, and deemed the completion of the national cancer centre as a testament to their strong bilateral ties.