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City’s nuclear physician dies


BULAWAYO’S only nuclear medicine physician Edwin Mahala Ndlovu, who was based at Mpilo Central Hospital, has died leaving only one such practitioner based in Harare.


He was 73.

Ndlovu, a former Zipra combatant, died at Mpilo Hospital on June 16 after being injured by a new cancer-detecting machine he had just brought into the country. Ndlovu’s last born son Thamsanqa said his father was buried at West Park Cemetery in Bulawayo on Friday.

“My father was diabetic. He got injured while working and teaching others on how to operate a new cancer detecting machine,” Thamsanqa said.

“He was the only nuclear medicine physician in Bulawayo at Mpilo Hospital. There are only two radiologists in Zimbabwe and the other one is in Harare. He wanted to teach others how to operate the machine as he was preparing to retire in August this year, and he had to work extra hours.”

He said his father’s sugar levels increased and that could have contributed to his death. Thamsanqa said his father had earlier this year gone to Hungary where he identified the cancer-detecting machine which he said was fast and effective.

“He came back and negotiated with the government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care to buy the machine,” he said.

“In April he went back to Hungary to buy the machine and while there he underwent training and came out second best from among doctors drawn from various countries.”

Thamsanqa said his father returned from Hungary on May 24 after spending a month training to operate the machine in the European country.

“They started working on installing the machine and he had to work extra hours as they got three to four patients a day being examined by the machine,” he said.

“He wanted to teach others on how to use the machine and on the last day he went to work I remember he came home at 3am. He said he wanted to rest and would go back to work on June 16 the day he died.”

He said the renowned doctor was planning to open a surgery to deal with X-rays as he loved his job.

Thamsanqa said his father went to Zambia in the 1960s where he trained as a liberation war fighter under Zipra before he went to Berlin, Germany, where he did ‘A’ Levels.

He proceeded to study for a degree in nuclear medicine and worked for a while before returning to work as a radiographer at Mpilo Hospital at independence in 1980. Ndlovu is survived by his wife Jeniffer, three sons, Mandlenkosi, Mark, Thamsanqa and four grandchildren.

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