Cancer Association commemorates World Childhood Cancer Day
The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) joined global partners in a collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer on 15 February to support children and adolescents with cancer.
World Childhood Cancer Day promotes increased appreciation and deeper understanding of issues and challenges relevant to childhood cancer and impacting on children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors, their families and society.
Chief Executive Officer of CAN, Rolf Hansen said they often see that especially when one child is diagnosed and the focus is so strongly on that one child that the other siblings may become emotionally withdrawn, jealous and in a teenager’s aggression and rebellion might present.
“This World Childhood Cancer Day, we again plead for the right to the early and proper diagnosis of childhood cancer, the right to access life-saving essential medicine, the right to appropriate and quality medical treatments, and the right to follow up care, services and sustainable livelihood opportunities for survivors,” he added.
Furthermore, he said if a cure is not attainable, the right of the child to experience a pain-free death, while unfathomable in developed counties, the shocking reality for a low middle-income nation is that children suffering from cancer will die excruciating deaths without any supportive care or pain management.
CAN have established the CHICA Interim Home for out of town childhood cancer patients to have safe accommodation while receiving treatment in Windhoek and provide counselling and engagement with the siblings which are needed and counselling with the parents is also critical. “Patients and families can also contact the Family Support Centre and Standard Bank Circle of Hope programme at the Cancer Association of Namibia for psychosocial and financial support,” added CAN.
Statistics show that in Namibia on average 4 to 5 children are newly diagnosed per week, 230 new childhood cancer cases annually at current, which is an increase from the 2017 data which had between 180 to 200 cases between 2015-2017 on average per annum. Leukaemia is generally the most frequently diagnosed childhood cancer globally, including Namibia but we also have very high numbers of retinoblastoma and brain tumours.