DAR ES SALAAM, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania said on Friday plans were on the drawing board to open a cancer hospital in the southern highlands comprising of six regions.
Faustine Ndugulile, the Deputy Minister for Health, told parliament in the capital Dodoma that the opening of the cancer facility in the southern highlands will reduce the number of cancer patients who travelled to the commercial capital Dar es Salaam to seek treatment.
The six regions located in the southern highlands were Katavi, Rukwa, Mbeya, Njombe, Iringa and Ruvuma.
He told the House that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including cancer, were expensive to treat and the number of patients suffering from the deadly disease has been on the increase in Tanzania over the years.
"Take an example of a kidney disease. It costs 700, 000 Tanzanian shillings (about 304 U.S. dollars) for the patient to undergo a weekly dialysis," said the official.
Ndugulile said kidney transplant cost about 20 million Tanzanian shillings, adding that the government planned to start awareness programs on NCDs aimed at helping people take preventive measures.
He was responding to Immaculate Sware, a Member of Parliament on Special Seats, who wanted to know measures being taken by the government to reduce the burden of NCDs and providing free tests for such diseases.