Cancer Advisory Board calls for funding for cancer patients

Chairman of a recently-formed Cancer advisory board, Dr Kamal Malakar has called on Dominicans to consider setting up a special fund to assist cancer patients on the island as well as a cancer treatment facility.


The advisory board which was put in place to guide the Dominica Cancer Society was formed about 6 months ago following a meeting with the society and the health promoti0n resource center of the ministry of health.


Dr Malakar said that there is great need for a cancer fund as we have seen an increase in the mortality rate of cancer patients due to lack of treatment.


“Since I started practicing, a lot of people, we diagnose them, we can advise them on what would be the appropriate treatment, but because of funding problems they cannot go. Government do help quite a lot and we also have some NGOs who help like Ross University, some of them raise funds to help these people to go for treatment but there has to be a concrete body for supplying funding. Is that the answer? I don’t think so, the answer has to be that we should be able to provide complete treatment here in Dominica,” said Dr Malakar.


The Dominica Cancer Society advisory board will also act as an advisory body to assist and advise the society on the development and implementation of policies in relation to cancer prevention and education.


Persons on the board include Dr Callendar who is an oncologist, Dr Hedda Dyer who is a surgeon, Dr Peter Bellot who is a well-known pathologist, Dr Paul Ricketts who is the national epidemiologist, Dr Hendricks Paul; the country’s main surgeon, Ms Julie Brewster who is a community health nurse, Mrs Vienna Royer who is the president of the Dominica Cancer Society and Dr Ruby Blanc who is an obstetrician and gynecologist.


Dr Malakar also called on citizens to practice safe and healthy lifestyles while at the same time taking regular cancer checks, as early detection remain critical in the fight against this deadly disease.


“We need to adopt a healthy lifestyle, not only for ourselves but for our families too. It is important for a better quality of life. Information on health is also important for the public. You don’t have to have a PHD to understand the importance of these health safety guides. Simple things like, why should I quit smoking, why should I not eat too much fried foods….all these things should be the responsibility of the public and NGOs,” said Dr Malakar.


Recent surveys have showed that breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men are the leading types of cancer plaguing the country.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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