Cancer awareness for lodge staff
The Cancer Association is midway in a new campaign to visit a number of lodges with large staff complements, from the Zambezi to the Karas Region. “All Namibians can do their part to make the fight against cancer a stronger battle” said the CEO of the Cancer Association, Rolf Hansen when he launched the current phase of the National Cancer Outreach programme in Katima Mulilo last week.
Lodge operator, Gondwana Collection, partnered with the Cancer Association earlier this year to support the “Tourism Fighting Cancer” concept that was the driving force behind the 1st Annual Cancer Ball in February. An amount of N$210,000 was raised to launch the National Cancer Outreach programme.
Cancer Association teams are now criss-crossing Namibia in collaboration with local committees, local private stakeholders and community members to host health clinics for men and women at a much reduced cost.
“As soon as Gondwana joined forces, the travel load became lighter as we now found an established accommodation partner in various areas of the country. Enlarging our rural footprint would now be easier,” explained Hansen.
As outreach partner, Gondwana provides accommodation to the Cancer Association’s roving teams. With 14 lodges spread strategically over Namibia, the Gondwana anchor enables the Cancer Association to cover every single region. All the staff at any of the Gondwana lodges are then automatically covered by the health clinics.
“This is truly a win-win situation for us all, as through the local employees, we have better communication and access to the local communities and clinic set-ups; while Gondwana employees are screened in-house and in their natural and comfortable environments,” explained Sister Christy Kavetuna of the Association.
The Cancer Association team last week visited Namushasha Lodge, the Choi Clinic, Kongola and the state hospital in Katima Mulilo, in the Zambezi Region.
In the Kavango, they visited Hakusembe River Lodge, the local state clinic at Mpuni and the state hospital in Rundu. It is the intention to establish a cancer referral hospital in Rundu.
The first chapter of this project kicked off in August last year when Oshakati, Ondangwa and Ongwediva were visited. A local community Pap smear clinic was established in Oshakati through the co-operation of Oshakati Pharmacy. Similarly, the Rehoboth wing of the national campaign was launched in January 2016 through the support of the newly established Rehoboth committee that assist the Cancer Association of Namibia. This clinic is located at The Torch centre at this town.
This week the outreach team this week visited Gondwana Collection lodges along the Fish River Canyon, in Keetmanshoop and in Aus with a 2-day excursion to Lüderitz.