Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has said the much awaited National Cancer Center will open in December this year.
Chiponda was speaking when she and other cabinet ministers, together with Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, toured the construction site of both Radiotherapy and Brachytherapy bunkers at the Center on Wednesday in Lilongwe.
The first construction phase was made up of chemotherapy suite, administration and consulting block and three wards, and uncompleted two-each Radiotherapy and Brachytherapy bunkers.
Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda explained that when completed the bunkers will support many cancer patients who seek Radiotherapy treatment abroad every year.
She then expressed concern over the use of huge sums of money to send cancer patients to other countries in order to get these unavailable services.
“We lose K2 billion quarterly that used to send cancer patients abroad for them to get through Radiotherapy. So, it’s much higher per year as you can see,” said Chiponda.
Health Minister further elaborated that the Project was allocated K800 million in this year’s financial year to cover construction, consultant, training and project management.
She added: “On financial performance, the consultant contract sum is US$488,315 equivalent to K500 million and has been paid 4 invoices amounting to US$276,467.95 equivalent to K300 million for Civil works.”
Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner to Malawi Subbiah Gopalakrishinan will continue to support Malawi on setting up cancer center with both technical and operations.
However Gopalakrishinan did not explain how much the Government of India pumped in to support the initiative.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Health has paid US$1,312,205 equivalent to K1. 5billion to a contractor for Civil works took place from the total sum of US$7,709,477.39, which is K8 billion.
The construction of the National Cancer Center started in February 2017 and it was phased. In May 2021, a contract was awarded to a new consultant to design and supervise the construction of 4 external beam Radiotherapy and Brachytherapy.