This was heard when the Parliamentary Health and Medical Services Committee (HMSC), Chaired by Parliamentarian, Charles Sigoto held discussions with key staff of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) over the status of two lifesaving equipment at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) - Mammography and Computer Tomography scan.
“The CT scan has been procured and is now in the country, however but the Ministry will have to bid for another 11million dollars this year to purchase associated equipment such as a scanning machine, computers, and monitoring equipment that will enable its use,” the meeting heard.
The round table discussion was held on Thursday 25th February with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Permanent Secretary and specialized Medical Practitioners such as Dr. Aaron Oritaemae and Dr. Joseph Bernard NRH’s Radiologists and Dr. Ivan Ghemu, DPP at the Paul Tovua Complex, Parliament House.
During the discussions, the staff of the MHMS assured the Committee that if everything goes to plan, this project should be completed, up and running by the end of this year.
However, the reduction of the Ministry’s budget for 2021 may affect the implementation of this important project, hence, they are uncertain about its completion.
Upon hearing this, the Committee urged the Ministry and government to prioritize these important projects at the highest level.
The Committee also encouraged the Ministry to tap into potential sources such as donors to support the implementation of these two important projects as they are vital to the health of citizens, at the same time, it is the Ministry’s priority to improve the status of the NRH.
The mammogram machine was the only one at the NRH and it was donated by the First Lady’s charity group in 2014. Between 2014 and 2018 a total of 1,000 women did tests for breast cancer using that machine. Data from those tests showed that almost 30% of young women between the age of 30 and 40 tested positive for breast cancer and some are lucky to get treated.
Radiologist, Dr Aaron Oritaemae during the discussions said, breast cancer is the second killer for women in the country.