Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
THE repair of radiotherapy machines at Parirenyatwa and Mpilo hospitals has begun following the release of about US$70 000 by the Government.
South African engineers are working on two of the three machines at Parirenyatwa, after which they will proceed to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals spokesperson Mr Lainos Dhire said the engineers had given them up to next week to complete the work on the two machines, a linear accelerator DMX and 600C.
“Engineers from South Africa are now on site and are already repairing the radiotherapy machines. The spares that we were expecting from Belgium and United States of America were delivered to the hospital during the weekend.
“We expect that the machines should be working by next week,” said Mr Dhire.
Parirenyatwa Radiotherapy Centre stopped operating completely last month following the breakdown of its last operational machine.
Similarly, machines at Mpilo Central Hospital have been down for some months now.
Mpilo last offered radiotherapy services in November last year, a situation that saw patients being referred to Parirenyatwa.
Curative services principal director in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Sydney Makarau said Mpilo was finalising work on installing an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) machine, which was bought sometime last year.
Dr Makarau said once that work is completed, the same engineers working at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals will be expected to commence repairs at Mpilo Central Hospital.
“We are hoping to get feedback on progress so far in terms of installing the UPS at Mpilo after which engineers will go and repair the radiotherapy machines,” said Dr Makarau.
The UPS machine enables patients to have radiation sessions continuously without the challenge of power interruptions from the local power supplier.
Without the UPS machine, radiotherapy machines were prone to breakdowns due to power cuts.
Radiotherapy treatment uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours and also damages the DNA within cancer cells.