HYDERABAD – Government has evacuated 20 cancer patients to India for specialist treatment as an interim measure to address the disease burden as the Cancer Hospital in Zambia is undergoing recapitalization.

The patients, who arrived in Hyderabad on Wednesday, are accompanied by two nurses and four caregivers and were received at the airport by Health Advisor at the Zambia High Commission in India, Professor Victor Mukonka and will be treated at KIMS Hospitals.

Prof. Mukonka says the move is aimed at ensuring that cancer patients are attended to as the Cancer Hospital in Zambia is undergoing recapitalization so that treatment is not disrupted.

“These are patients who have been referred specifically to come and receive radiotherapy in India which we negotiated with KIMS Hospitals to help us as an interim measure. As we may be aware, our Cancer Hospital is undergoing recapitalization to bring in modern equipment. So, in the interim, the Government has made necessary measures to ensure the treatment protocol is not disrupted.

“We received the patients and ensured that they are all settled and accommodated. I have been with them the whole day and the assessment has started with the specialist doctors which will be completed on Monday the treatment will commence on Tuesday. They are expected to be with us for about a month, receiving treatment,” Prof. Mukonka said.

And Prof. Mukonka says the Zambia High Commission in India has been working tirelessly to facilitate skills transfer programmes so that once recapitalized, the Cancer Hospital in Zambia will be providing most of the services for which patients are currently being referred to India.

“We need human capital by training health personnel as well as the tools. This means having appropriate infrastructure and equipment as well as regular supplies of medicines and drugs needed. All the aspects are being addressed, which is very good for Zambia. It will not be very long before what we have been following here in India will be done locally in Zambia,” he said.

Meanwhile, KIMS Hospitals cancer specialist and Head of Department Pratap Reddy has assured the patients of quality service.

Dr. Reddy has noted that cancer cases have surged across the world but that his hospital is equal to the task and will start the treatment once the assessment of patients and the treatment procedure is explained to them.

“We have 20 patients from Zambia for radiation purposes. Cancer incidences are increasing everywhere in the world as more people are being diagnosed. Unfortunately, because of lack of facilities, patients are going to different countries for treatment. They have preferred to come to our hospital. I am happy that they have the trust in us and we will be taking care of them. There are different treatment procedures on different situations which we will be explaining to them and I assure them that we will give them the best of care from our side,” Dr. Reddy said.

This is contained in a statement issued by first Secretary for Press and tourism in India Bennie Mundando.

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