The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) needs approximately N$3 million to accommodate patients diagnosed with cancer from all 14 regions by 2017.
Speaking to the Villager this week, Cancer Association of Namibia’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rolf Hansen, said the Association is expanding its Acacia House building to be able to accommodate more patients that are referred to Windhoek for cancer treatment as the current building can only accommodate 21 patients while the demand keeps increasing.
“We are passionate about helping the Namibian people when it comes to cancer, therefore we are planning on expanding our building to be able to accommodate 33 patients by 2017.We have so many patients that are referred here but there is no space. In 2014 patients diagnosed with cancer grew up to 3 154 already”.
The Cancer Association of Namibia aim to expand the Acacia House with six more rooms, beds and toilets as well as a library which will be displayed with motivational books to motivate patients diagnosed with cancer.
The new wing will also accommodate males from across the country that have spouses, children diagnosed with cancer.
“Many people go through an emotional break-down once they find out that their spouse or kids have cancer and we have also experience cases of marriages that fall apart once the husband finds out that their wives have cancer and it totally destroys a patient emotionally and interferes with the treatment,” Hansen said, adding that, “there have also been issues like drug abuse and children dropping out of school, so we want to be able to assist both the patient and their families to avoid such issues in the future”.
Hansen also explained that not only is CAN focusing on expanding the accommodation area but aims to expand the clinic as well.
He said: “the clinic is also too small to be able to accommodate more patients, therefore we would need extra screening machines, beds and doctors as well as phycologists once the expansion of the building has been completed”.
Currently, CAN has received N$96 000 from the Black Bra Project, a fundraising project administered by Round Table Namibia, to support breast cancer sufferers and their families.
Although CAN received funds from Black Bra Project, Hansen explained that the money is not enough because the money which has been donated goes to the financial assistance fund that assists patients that are unable to afford medical treatment expenses.
Hansen said, “Last year we have spent approximately N$3 to N$ million through our financial assistance fund. The N$96 000 will also go to the Fund and with that money we assist patients that are unable to pay taxi fairs, bus fairs to come to Windhoek, phycology sessions or when their medical aid has been rejected but this is only for people who are really in need”.
The Acacia House which was established in 1986 with nine beds with the purpose of accommodating out of town cancer patients mainly from rural areas undergoing treatment covers its expenses through fundraising projects, donations and kind hearted volunteers.
Most of the funds raised are also used to buy groceries, cleaning materials, security services, staff salaries, and City of Windhoek costs, maintenance of the building, television and garden expenses.