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Mpilo procures UPS cancer machine

by Staff reporter
09 Dec 2018 at 07:01hrs | Views
MPILO Central Hospital in Bulawayo has bought a R1,45 million Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) machine for the radiation department, which will see radiation sessions on cancer patients being carried out without fear of power outrages, Sunday News has learnt.

The UPS machine enables patients to have radiation sessions continuously without the challenge of power interruptions from the local power supplier. Dr Xolani Ndlovu the acting clinical director for the institution confirmed the development in an interview.

"The hospital sourced the money and paid for the machine which cost R1,45 million. The machine is currently being shipped," he said.

Dr Ndlovu said the development was a welcome move that was going to see effective radiation sessions being carried out.

"When patients are undergoing treatment particularly with the Linear Accelerator machine, there is a need for uninterrupted power supply because the machine is very sensitive. If there is fluctuation in power due to lightning or if electricity current suddenly changes, the machine is damaged," he said.

Dr Ndlovu said technical problems developed with the machines at Mpilo and they now need specialists to come in and fix them. However, he said the company that repairs the machines was based in Switzerland.

"The company which has the ability to repair the machines is Varian Medical Systems but they said they can come and repair our machines if we have a UPS machine installed at the hospital and we do not have one. This means that they may have to come in several times for repairs if we do not have the machine installed which is costly," he said.

Dr Ndlovu said repairs were minimal when there was a UPS machine so they would enter into a contract with the company once they installed one at the institution. Currently, he said power fluctuations affect the hospital several times and their machines were always down.

Dr Ndlovu further said they were forced to send their radiation patients to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare which was costly for them.

One breast cancer patient who spoke to Sunday News said she was having a hard time as she could not travel to Harare.

"We have challenges as patients as we do not have accommodation in Harare. It becomes too costly if we are to find accommodation and also pay for treatment at the same time. We are hoping that the machines are installed and we can be treated closer home," she said.

She also said some patients have been referred to Oncocare Zimbabwe, a cancer centre in Harare which they said was very costly especially for patients that do not have medical aid.

Source - sundaynews