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Cancer patients and families get much needed psychological help

Cancer patients and families get much needed psychological help

Counselling for both patients and family members are just as important to cancer patients as the immediate treatment, but the cost to host families are often prohibitive. Helping to cover these expenses, the Cancer Association of Namibia this week received a major boost from a local bank.

The Cancer Association announced it has received N$150,000 for their Family Support Centre and Circle of Hope programme, from Standard Bank Namibia recently.

The Circle of Hope was adopted for the peer-to-peer psycho-social support programme, and serves as a support group for men, women, children and their families afflicted by cancer.

Rolf Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of CAN said the diagnosis and treatment of cancer have a considerable impact on a patient and can cause an increased level of distress and a higher prevalence of depression and anxiety. “Furthermore, close relatives, such as the patient’s partner, spouse and minor children have an increased risk of experiencing higher levels of distress in response to the disease,” he added.

He also explained even though the availability of psycho-oncological support for the patient and their relatives is a goal of integrated cancer care and has been acknowledged in recent guidelines, it is not readily available in many countries. “Thus, within the Namibian context, we can be very proud of what we are together accomplishing today,” he concluded.

The Standard Bank Family Support Centre and Circle of Hope programme has as some of its core objective to train volunteers to support newly diagnosed patients and their families, improve the quality of life of the patients and their families, provide support to caregiver, survivors and volunteers, and to reduce the cancer mortality rate in Namibia.

The programme is a non-medical programme designed to support cancer patients and their families in coping with treatment and also to try and lead normal lives after a cancer diagnosis.

Dr Ndapewa Hamunime, Chairperson of the Bank’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Board said CSI has always been the lens through which their business ensures long term value creation and sustainability. “It talks to not only improving the lives of our communities but that of our shareholders and instills the culture of volunteerism amongst our employees,” she added.

Standard Bank Namibia also launched their Corporate Social Investment Report at the same event.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.