Lions Club of Bwaila has urged Malawians to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
In a press statement on Saturday, the club said Malawians should also donate to the cancer ward at Kamuzu Central Hospital especially in this month of September was dedicated as international campaign month childhood cancer awareness month.
The club said childhood cancer is curable but happens to be a great burden for developing countries as 90 percent of the world’s children live in those countries.
The statement explained that this usually occurs due to inadequate diagnosis treatment and due to high cost of medical equipment.
“Child cancer is different from adult cancer but the survival rate for children is much higher than adults and early diagnosis remains one of the key factors in surviving childhood cancer,” the statement said.
According to the statement, In Malawi at KCH alone, there are around 200 new cancer patients per year which translates into more than one new patient every 1-2 days.
Depending on the day, there is an average of 25-30 patients per day in the wards and because of space limitations, children often share bed space.
At KCH, 51 percent of the children have moderate malnutrition and 20 percent have severe malnutrition.
“These children needs critical nutritional support especially in the first 3 months of treatment. The nutritional program is composed of protein supplementation while in and also out of the hospital. Cancer cure rates cannot be improved without improving malnutrition,” the club says.
In the statement, the club has encouraged Malawians to put on a gold ribbon in support of childhood cancer awareness month and to share social media posts about childhood cancer awareness.
People in the country have also been urged to make their profile picture on social media gold in support of children with cancer and raise funds for the cancer ward.
“Become a childhood cancer champion. A regular, monthly donation means you can make a big difference in the long-term to the ward,” says the statement.
The club has also asked parents and guardians to seek early medical diagnosis and be aware of signs and symptoms of childhood cancer.