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Business Mogul Mpinganjira Builds Cancer Hospital in Honour of late Wife

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Chakwera cuts the ribbon to mark the official launch of the cancer centre as Mpinganjira, Chilima look on

The International Blantyre Cancer Centre Board Chairperson Thomson Mpinganjira has said the decision to construct the centre was triggered by the death of his wife, Barbara on 4 January 2019.

Mpinganjira said this on Tuesday when President Lazarus Chakwera officially opened the International Blantyre Cancer Centre in Nyambadwe, Blantyre.

He narrated that the plan to construct the centre dates back to 24 January 2017 when his late wife, Barbara was diagnosed with cancer and she spent 3 months at a South African hospital while he stayed in a hotel until their return to Malawi on 16 April 2017,

” It was that experience in South Africa, that prompted me, after the death of my wife on 4 January 2019, to make the decision to build a Cancer hospital in Malawi so that as many Malawians as possible should never have to go through the same experience we went through. I give glory to God that we now have a Cancer Centre in Malawi” he said.

According to Mpinganjira, the facility will offer both Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy treatment and has the most advanced Radiotherapy facilities in Africa which will help in treatment of cancer patients within the country.

He emphasized that the Centre is a game changer for the country as it will relieve the country on the massive foreign exchange challenge the country is experiencing.

“The second reason is the huge cost burden borne by the patient or family. The financing burden paying for air tickets, accommodation, food, local transport, and sundries amongst other costs for the patient and the guardian that just add up to the patient’s stress exacerbating the condition of the patient,” he bemoaned.

Mpinganjira applauded President Lazarus Chakwera for his willingness to personally come to open the Cancer Centre, describing the gesture as a clear demonstration that the President values the contributions of the private sector community in Malawi.

“This momentous occasion marks a significant milestone in our collective fight against one of the most formidable adversaries known to humanity – Cancer. The Cancer Centre stands as a beacon of light in the darkness of cancer, a place where innovative technology meets the healing power of empathy and compassion,” he said.

In his remarks, Chakwera said government is currently implementing the National Cancer Control plan that among others, will enable that every cancer patient should be treated within the country by 2030.

He said the National Cancer Center in Lilongwe will be operational by September this year.

The President added that there are many patients that need treatment which calls for collaborative efforts as at the moment, saying treating one cancer patient requires about K25 million.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture Richard Chimwendo Banda who spoke on behalf of Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda, said about 12 0000 people die of cancer every year in Malawi and that 17 000 cancer cases are diagnosed every year.

He said cancer remains a burden for the country as the deaths accounts for almost 50 percent of deaths that occur due to non-communicable diseases.

The cancer centre is a 50/50 joint venture between the ‘Thomson & Barbara Mpinganjira Foundation’ and the Luxembourg, Belgium based company called OMCC.

OMCC has 5 Cancer Centers in France and four in Africa and has treated over 60,000 patients since this Radiotherapy group started.

Once fully completed with state -of-the-art accommodation, the cost of the project is expected to amount to 7 million euros (about K12 billion).

So far about K9.6 billion has been spent on the first phase of the project while second phase is expected to start soon and will comprise of a state-of-the-art Diagnostic facility and accommodation facility pushing the final cost of the project to 8 million Euros.

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