KIDZCAN, a local organization which deals with childhood cancer cases in Zimbabwe has applaud childhood cancer survivors for their resilience in fighting cancer.
By Michael Gwarisa
Speaking during the launch Orange Week which marks celebrations for children living with cancer, Kidzcan Executive Director, Daniel Mckenzie said Kidzcan had over the years exhibited resilience in supporting children living with cancer.
“As we stand in solidarity with international childhood cancer day, we acknowledge that childhood cancer in Zimbabwe as in the rest of low medium countries claims more lives. Statistics have shown that over 200 000 children develop cancer world wide each year and 80 percent of those children live in low and middle income countries where survival rates can be as low 5 percent compared to 80 percent in high income countries.
“With this in mind, international childhood cancer day is a global campaign to raise awareness for children living with cancer and to express support for children with cancer. This day promotes increased appreciation and deeper understating of issues and challenges impacting childhood cancer. Kids of Zimbabwe can survive cancer, and kidzcan recognizes those that fought to the last even though they are not with us today, they have contributed contributed to the evidence of change and history, as well as theories that have come from their lives, more so research and corrections,” said Mckenzie.
According to the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry (ZNCR), annual report of 2013, a total of 6 548 new cases were recorded comprising of more females 4 124 (58%) than males 3 041 (42%), while 236 were diagnosed in children split as 52% boys and 48% girls.
Meanwhile, the National Blood Services of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has partnered with Kidzcan to provide blood services to childhood cancer survivors at a 50 percent discount rate of the normal blood charge.
Speaking during the same event, NBSZ Chief Executive Officer, Ms Lucy Marowa said they were working on more programs that could benefit childhood cancer patients through offering pediatric packages at discounted rates.
“We have embraced th orange week and our staff are exited about it, just to show you how we are exited to partner Kidzcan. As NBSZ, we are a supplier to Kidzcan, but the relationship is not about the money but about the service that Kidzcan are doing to save every child who has got cancer in Zimbabwe.
“To show that we are actually a partner to Kidzcan, i think they can attest that we have not stopped them from accessing blood and blood products when they have wanted to regardless of their account status. Whatever we are charging for blood and other blood products, Kidzcan get at 50 percent,” said Ms Marowa.
She added that NBSZ is in discussion with a funder to enable them to provide them with pediatric packs for the young ones living with cancer which will be available at 50 percent as well.