IN a move set to boost moral and survival rate for child cancer patiants, pediatric cancer focused Non Governmental Organisation, KidzCan has handed over a modernised family lounge to Parirenyatwa pediatric cancer Ward which will act as a haven for mothers whose children will be admitted.
By Michael Gwarisa
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Parirenyatwa Director Operations, Mr Edson Mundenda said the move by Kidzcan has come at a time when the need for a proper and comfortable waiting lounge was huge.
“What you see here is just a glimpse of the magnificent work which they are doing for the children afflicted with different types of cancers. Most importantly, Kidzcan has ensured that these children are assisted in a sustainable manner, thus they have partnered with socially responsible corporates such as TV Sales and Home to realise their goal.
“On behalf of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, allow me to express my profound gratitude to both Kidzcan and TV Sales and Home for this wonderful gesture. A4 Special is one of the hospital’s paediatric wards and as such is special in the sense that the parents have to spend much of their time alongside their unwell children in the ward. This is a tough time for the children, who are so unfortunate to encounter health challenges at such a tender stage of their lives,” said Mr Mundenda.
He added that the parents especially mothers had to go through a tough time waiting for their kids under painful and uncomfortable circumstances.
“It is with as much agony that the parents have to be there to see their children through all this suffering. It is a very sad situation indeed. Thanks to Kidzcan and TV Sales and Home for bearing with the plight of the mothers who require some form of comfort while waiting for procedures to be done on their children.
It is in this light that our partners here have been generous enough to go out of their way to make sure the dire situation does not take its toll on the children and their parents.The lounge suite and other furniture that they have offered to the hospital today will be of great significance to our patients. The parents as well as the children will have entertainment from the television sets that are being handed over, an aspect that will positively impact their psychological state by providing an option for escapism.”
Kidzcan Board Chair, David Mills said having a comfortable waiting lounge would also improve survival rate of child cancer patients.
“Today i just want to focus on three issues that i think underpin the enterprise that we represent. Firstly, we have a mission where our objective is to primarily increase the survival rate of children. Then a vision follows on from that whereby we offer a compassionate home where children with cancer can live healthy and fulfilling lives.
“In America, the survival rate of children with cancer is 90 percent. Nine of of 10 children who go into a hospital in the United States captured at the right time will survive. Here, data collections such that we at this stage envisage about 20 percent survival rate,” said Mills.
He added that there was need for increased financial support domestically and internationally if Zimbabwe was to move from the current 20 percent survival rate.
Professor Inam Chitsike, a consultant with children’s cancer ward at Parirenyatwa Hospital said waiting lounge was a blessing to the cancer ward and would improve the psychological situation of mothers as they will also get to share experiences and comfort each other in warm and comfortable environment.
“This lounge is a dream come true for the families and for us as a hospital. Mothers spend weeks if not months on the bench and you imagine how uncomfortable it can be.
“Now we might think of it as a lounge but naturally its a lot more than just that. Its a venue where mothers can get together and talk about their situations. Its also a venue whereby mothers can get counselling from experts. Most mothers abandon treatment fro their children due to lack of proper counselling and guidance as well as issues like no money for transport among others,” said Prof Chitsike.
Recent statistics gathered by KidzCan indicate that Epworth has the highest cases of Children with Xereodema, a rare skin cancer.