The National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAHPA) and The Fighters Support Group (TFSG) will on 3rd February 2023 hold a World Cancer Day commemoration in Masunga. The theme for this year is, ‘Close the Care Gap’ which is a three-year theme from 2022 – 2024 set aside by the The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The theme advocates to reduce the inequalities that exist in accessing quality cancer services worldwide.
The commemoration follows a series of build-up and consultative engagements with the public canvasing 9 villages in the North-East district which include Tati Siding, Matshelagabedi, Matsiloje, Tsamaya, Tshesebe, Ramokkgwebana, Mapoka, Makaleng and Sekakangwe. The purpose is to align the commemoration awareness with the tribal leaders and other stakeholders and candlelight torch tour from morning to the afternoon. The awareness drive is expected to start on the 31 January and end on 2 February 2023. Masunga tribal leader Kgosi Maruje III, is expected to hand the torch to the Ministry of Health officials on the 3rd of February 2023 at the main event.
For her part, the Fighters Support Group founder Patricia Letlape who is also a breast cancer survivor said the group was established in 2021, it supports women and men who are battling with cancer and their stakeholders include hospitals and clinics both government and private respectively on referrals for psychological mentorship and hope.
“Cancer is a deadly disease that continue to claim more life’s and in recent years we have seen rise in numbers. However, when detected early can be cured and be manageable. As a group it gives us hope when referral patients recover and find their feet again. We are therefore converging in Masunga with other stakeholders to hold educational get together talks during the commemoration day.”
When giving details of the commemoration, Letlape further said the day activities will include screening for various illnesses such as high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS and educational alerts. They have also included traditional games to enhance the day.
In concluding, Letlape has also appealed to the public to self-diagnose as signs and symptoms of cancer are detectable such as unusual lumps or swelling, persistent cough, changes in bowl habits, fatigue, heavy and drenching night sweats, among others.
She advices that any slight abnormality must be taken to a medical centre for further advice urgently.