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Local pharmaceuticals gives a helping hand to kids fighting cancer

Local pharmaceuticals gives a helping hand to kids fighting cancer

The Children Fighting Cancer (CHICA), a programme run by the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), was granted a generous donation of N$ 120,000 this week by GEKA Pharma.

The funds are specifically designated for the CHICA Interim Home, a facility in Windhoek where children undergoing treatment, along with a parent or guardian, often reside for up to six weeks at a time.

Nardia Coetzee, Managing Director of GEKA Pharmaceuticals, emphasized the significance of raising awareness about childhood cancer and providing support to affected families.

“This house and programme support so many families in need, and through our contribution, we can assist CAN in helping these families in need.”

CAN Chief Executive, Rolf Hansen conveyed gratitude towards GEKA Pharmaceuticals, acknowledging them as a vital stakeholder in their mission to aid families grappling with a childhood cancer diagnosis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 400,000 children receive a cancer diagnosis each year, making it one of the leading causes of death among children aged 1 to 14.

A report by the Regional Office of the WHO revealed that nearly 30,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa are believed to have lost their lives to cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report further highlighted that in Africa, the survival rate for childhood cancer is approximately 20%, as opposed to over 80% in high-income countries. The WHO emphasized that early identification of the disease and the prevention of care delays can lead to significant improvements in the lives of children battling cancer.

CAN said statistics revealed that approximately 250 children are diagnosed with cancer in Namibia each year.

“These young fighters and their families endure physical, emotional, and financial challenges as they battle this disease, therefore, the CHICA programme was established to address this challenge,” they added.

The CHICA Interim Home stands as a beacon of hope for families contending with childhood cancer, offering a welcoming space for a parent and a courageous patient undergoing treatment in Windhoek.


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.