Childhood cancer is on the increase in Namibia and that places a financial burden on families, the Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), Rolf Hansen has said.
Hansen was speaking at the handover of a N.dollars 250 000 donation by GEKA Pharma to Children Fighting Cancer (CHICA), CAN’s wing focusing on child cancer, in the capital on Thursday.
He explained that the funds would be used to support cancer patients by providing them with temporary accommodation at its interim home, medication, transport and meals at no charge.
Leukemias, which are cancers of the bone marrow and blood, are the most common childhood cancers. They account for about 30 per cent of all cancers in children. The most common types in children are acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute myelogenous leukemia.
Established in April 2017, the CHICA Interim Home exclusively accommodates out of town cancer patients undergoing treatment at the Dr AB May Cancer Ward at the Windhoek Central Hospital.
“We hope that we can support better and more, but we also hope that we don’t have more sick children that we need to support,” added Hansen.
He said the CHICA Interim Home took in about 24 children with cancer this year, including some mothers whose children remain in hospital.
Speaking at the same event, GEKA Pharma Director, Willie van Wyk noted that it is important from their side to give little children with cancer an opportunity to become the future leaders of the country.
“With modern technology and the new treatments that’s available, one can treat them positively and they can and grow up into adults that can make a contribution to the country,” said van Wyk.
He added that GEKA Pharma would like to give them the opportunity to be in a conducive environment, where they have support structures to make it easier for them during the treatment.