The Monitor :: Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaign On Track
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Last Updated
Friday 26 May 2017, 15:47 pm.
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Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaign On Track

Responding to the rising cases of childhood cancer in the country, Cancer Association Botswana (CAB) in partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Centre (NBTC) launched a cancer treatment campaign.
By Baboki Kayawe Mon 12 Sep 2016, 15:55 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaign On Track








The campaign is meant to emphasise the importance of blood in cancer treatment.

September has been set aside to honour Childhood Cancer Awareness. At the event that was preceded by an awareness walk in the capital on Friday, Kebaabetswe Setlhong, whose 11-months-old son was  diagnosed with cancer of kidney inflammation in 2013, encouraged people to disregard all the myths about the disease and focus on controlling it.

At the time, he had known cancer to be a condition that affected adults. He despaired and wondered how his toddler would survive after the infected kidney was removed. He remained optimistic that there was a solution to the baby’s ill health.

Setlhong went past the norms as he was admitted at Princess Marina Hospital with the baby for 11 months.

“People wondered what kind of a man I was who gets admitted with an 11-month-old baby in hospital. I cared, and wanted to be there by my son’s side through it all,” Setlhong said.

In June 2014, he consented that the boy be enrolled for chemotherapy. Still he was determined to be his rock and fountain of hope.

“It was not an easy journey.  I saw the little boy lose hair in the process, but I

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am glad that he is three-years-old today,” he said.

As a regular blood donor, he called on people to do the same, as blood is a critical component for cancer treatment. Now chairperson of the Childhood Cancer Parents’ Association, Setlhong donates every three months and encourages parents, especially fathers to play an active role in the health of their children. Chawada Tema, manager at NBTC said platelets are integral to cancer treatment hence the partnership between the two organisations. 

On the sidelines of the event, Tema told The Monitor that the national blood demand was at 40,000 units but last year only 27,000 was collected.

This affected cancer patients in the sense that inadequacy in the storage would mean less platelets as well. She explained that chemotherapy and some radiation therapy could cause low production of this blood component. Moreover, cancer treatments can slow the production of platelets in the bone marrow. “I call upon all eligible people to come forth and donate blood,” she said.

CAB chairperson, Thebe Baile, a medical nutritionist by profession advised the nation to consume healthy diets as well as to exercise regularly and have the right mindset to win the war against cancer.

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