OVER 12,000 cases of cancer are recorded every year in Zambia, says Cancer Disease Hospital senior medical superintendent Dr Lewis Banda.

And MTN Zambia chief executive officer Bart Hofker says the company is committed to look beyond its main operations and reach out to communities to help improve Zambians’ lives through its corporate social investment.

Speaking when he received some detergents and food supplements donated by MTN Zambia at the Cancer Disease Hospital in Lusaka, Thursday, Dr Banda said the number of cancer cases in the country had now escalated to over 12,000 per annum.

“The Cancer Disease Hospital is the only cancer hospital that we have in Zambia, and as you may know, the numbers of cases of cancer that you are seeing in this country are ever-increasing. We are seeing at a national level, over 12,000 cases of cancer every year and the bulk of the cancer apparently affects women,” Dr Banda said.

“The number one cancer that we see is cervical cancer and then followed by prostate cancer. So, from the statistics, we see that it is affecting mostly women.”

He added that the number of cancer cases in children were also going up.

“We still see cancer in children. We see that the numbers are going up again among children. Mostly, cancer that is common in children is cancer of the eye. This has become common as lots of children are brought a bit late and they start treatment late also,” he said.

And Dr Banda lamented that government resources were insufficient to effectively fight the soaring numbers of cancer cases.

“Government resources are not enough in the same cases and we need to be helped so that we help these patients. We also have challenges with our machines, which are getting old and they need to be repaired because most of the time, they are down. We have challenges in the logistics, mostly drugs, and it is becoming very difficult to source drugs, locally, because of the COVID pandemic,” said Dr Banda.

And Hofker said MTN Zambia remained committed to help improve Zambians’ lives in communities through its corporate social investment.

“As MTN Zambia, through our corperate social investment, we are committed to look beyond our main operation by reaching out to the communities and generally helping to improve the lives of Zambians. We believe the nation can only flourish if its citizens are in good health and if good health services are provided to citizens. We strive to help the needy and reach the most vulnerable and marginalised communities and members of our society without leaving anyone behind,” said Hofker.