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Zimbabwe does not bring better news.

Cancer isn't Zimbabwe's biggest problem. But it's growing. Too fast for cancer care and treatment to keep up.

The IAEA and partners are trying to turn the situation around. Zimbabwe has been providing cancer care to many African patients. But over the last few years, cancer treatment for the country's most common cancers has come to a halt.

At present, all three radiotherapy machines in Zimbabwe - two in Harare and one in Bulawayo - are not working. The one trained repair engineer has left the country and the maintenance fees charged by suppliers are out of reach for the government budget.

Zimbabwe Cancer Care

"We see cases where curable cancers become incurable due to our deficiencies in equipment," Dr. Ndlovu says.

Background

    • Zimbabwe sees, on average, 7000 cancer cases each year. Only a fraction of these – some 1300–2000 – are treated with radiotherapy.
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    • At present levels of care, cancer patients in Harare are not likely to survive five years after diagnosis, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer.
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    • HIV infection rates are high in Zimbabwe and life expectancy is low. The AIDS pandemic is augmenting the rate of HIV-related cancers, namely kaposi sarcoma, a kind of skin cancer that accompanies the disease.
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    • Among women, Zimbabwe has a high rate of cervical cancer, which if detected early can be effectively treated.