Namibia: Cancer Care Centre Needs Donations

Ob of eight doctors at the Dr A Bernard May Cancer Care Centre, Annelle Zietsman, yesterday said little things matter when she spoke about the care centre’s dire need for donations.

Zietsman, who joined 50 other people during a walk to commemorate World Cancer Day in Windhoek yesterday, said more than 2 400 patients were received at the care centre per month for oncology and radiation treatments. She said donations help meet the costs of maintaining the centre, “which is not really as it should be”.

The volunteer group walked from the Cancer Association of Namibia’s (CAN) head office to the Dr A Bernard May Cancer Care Centre at the Windhoek Central Hospital in solidarity of the global cancer fight.

Zietsman said CAN had previously fixed toilets which were not functioning, as well as repaired broken floors and water pipes. The care centre especially needs paper for administrative work, she observed, adding that young patients who are admitted at the centre for between four and five months until they feel better or go to get maintenance treatment, need toiletries and items like airtime.

CAN chief executive officer Rolf Hansen described World Cancer Day as “one of those global days of hope,” and that CAN, in solidarity with other cancer organisations, is part of a network of hope.

He also disclosed CAN’s legal engagement with the ministry of health to push for a national cancer control plan which would advocate the better treatment of cancer patients.

Hansen said fighting cancer should not be a burden left only to the patient’s family, which is why CAN has been involved in national cancer outreach programmes since August 2015.

The organisation visits different regions to train primary healthcare workers, as well as conducts early screening clinics to build a stronger referral system in support of efforts by the health ministry.

Namibia Breweries yesterday donated N$120 000 for the fight against cancer, with half the amount going to CAN and the other to the Dr A Bernard May Cancer Care Centre.

The managing director of Namibia Breweries, Wessie van der Westhuizen, acknowledged efforts by CAN in the fight against cancer, saying “I don’t think people even understand what these people [CAN] do behind the scenes.”

He emphasised that the donation was key to the company’s dedication to “creating a future, enhancing life” on a daily basis.

Katrina Vries (60), who was part of yesterday’s walk, said she was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. She and her children could not accept the results of her diagnosis at first, but she has now found strength in her renewed faith, despite having lost a number of relatives to the disease.

Sixty-seven-year old Jan Booysen said he began treatment soon after he was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2005.

He, however, had a bad experience during treatment – he suffered hair loss and could not eat certain foods – but said he continues to have a number of follow-up treatments throughout the year.

Breast cancer survivor Renathe Skrywer (53), who was diagnosed with stage 1 cancer in 2016, explained that she had a breast removed in 2017.

Before the walk, Skrywer said she had announced on the Damara/Nama radio station that she would be hosting a get-together between 18h00 to 19h00 today to encourage positivi-ty among fellow survivors.


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Publish date : 2019-02-05 11:53:09

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