Kidzcan embarks on childhood cancer awareness campaign


Bulawayo (New Ziana)-Pedriatic cancer patient support organisation, KidzCan Zimbabwe will use this month to carryout awareness campaigns on child cancer in a bid to promote early detection which is key in treatment of the disease.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) and is being commemorated under the theme’ Better Survival’.

KidzCan executive director, Daniel McKenzie said these campaigns are also aimed at discouraging abandonment and defaulting on treatment to help save the lives of children.

“KidzCan has embarked on campaigns with several activities lined up this month of September. From our perspective, our main interest is to save the life of the kid. We also want to save vision, hence early detection becomes an
indispensable component of the treatment system,” he said.

“As such, robust awareness campaign promotes early detection, which is key in the treatment of cancer, ” said McKenzie.

He underscored the need to conscientise local communities about childhood cancer so as to raise awareness.

“There is a need to raise awareness about childhood cancer among the generality of our population. They need to be conscientised so that they have knowledge about it,” he said.

Mckenzie said at times over reliance on traditional healers and religious practitioners can contribute to default by patients on their medical treatment.

“Within a culturally oriented society like Zimbabwe, the danger of ignorance is somewhat amplified as sometimes over-reliance on traditional healers can lead to children being taken to inexpensive traditional and religious practitioners resulting in patients defaulting on their medical treatment,” he said.

Mckenzie said KidzCan sometimes do follow ups on patients only to be ignored by parents who refuse to pick up calls as they seek alternative solutions.

“It is painful to see the same parents turning up late with the little patients upon realizing that they can no longer contain the situation on their own.

“All we can do is to refer the child for palliative care which is basically a medical caregiving approach aimed at optimizing quality of life and mitigating suffering among people with serious, complex, and often terminal illnesses, ” said McKenzie.

He added: “The month of September will provide citizens with an opportunity to be more acquainted with childhood cancer and all its forms, and the various diagnostics and treatments available.”

“Together we can raise the survival rate as what has happened with HIV AIDS, which has recorded successes in the 95-95-95 targets. Now, if this approach is adopted in the treatment of childhood cancer, it would be possible to even surpass the 60% World Health Organization Global Initiative on childhood cancer target by 2030,” said Mckenzie.

Among children, (ages 0 to 14 years), the most common types of cancer are leukemias, followed by brain and other CNS tumors, lymphomas, neuroblastoma, kidney tumors, and malignant bone tumors.

New Ziana

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