WOCACA calls for support for cancer patients

Women Coalition against Cancer (WOCACA), a local organization championing for the rights and welfare of cancer patients in Malawi, has reiterated the need for Malawians to join hands and support cancer patients in the country.

This was said on Friday when the organization donated assorted non-food materials to cancer patients at National Cancer Centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital as part of commemorating World Patient Safety Day, which is commemorated on the 17th of September annually.

Mwakasungula (second from right) posing for a photo with cancer patients and hospital officials

The donated items included wigs, summer hats/head covers and bras, which have been described as crucial, especially to female patients who lose their hair as some of the signs and symptoms of the disease.

The donation was made with support from an international body called Advanced Breast Cancer Global Alliance.

WOCACA Executive Director Maud Mwakasungula said they observed that most cancer patients lose their hair after going through chemotherapy as a result they lose their confidence; hence, the donation is aimed at restoring their dignity.

Mwakasungula pledged her organization’s continued support to cancer patients while advising the general public to regularly make hospital checkups for early detention of this curable disease.

“Let me also take this advantage to appeal to other stakeholders to come forward and assist these patients in various ways, the donations helps in giving hope to them hence the need for collaborative efforts,” she said.

In his remarks, head of department at the National Cancer Center, Dr. Richard Nyasosela, said the donation will go a long way in giving the patients hope and courage to fight on against the disease.

Dr. Nyasosela, who is also the Chief Oncologist at the facility, said most cancer patients face numerous challenges ranging from shortage of drugs and also transportation problems as most of them travel long distances to access thermotherapy at the hospital.

“If these patients can be supported with transportation cost, that will really help them considering that most of them are poor. They also need cancer drugs, the government is really doing commendable job in making available the drugs but the challenge remains that there are certain drugs that are not available at the facility, which requires other people to come and support these patients,” said Nyasosela.

He disclosed that Malawi has about 6000 cancer patients.

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