Cancer Survivors Quest CSQ expressed concern over the insufficient of cancer related issue awareness in the country. This comes as Malawi is commemorating childhood cancer survivors through Media Marathon week which falls in June annually. During this week, the country remembers people who when they were children diagnosed with childhood cancer and got treated and have survived.
Chikhulupiliro Ng’ombe, CSQ founder said until now there is no or inadequate awareness being done by government, NGOs and that majority of the awareness is left to the medical staff and a few survivor based organizations that have no funding or are underfunded. According to Ng’ombe, childhood cancer is any cancer that will primarily affect children ranging from 0 – 14. He added that Malawi is also trying to treat these cases of childhood cancer and some of them have survived through local efforts while others were fortunate to be treated internationally.
Ng’ombe who is one of cancer survivors by diagnosed with Leukemia (cancer of the blood) at the age of 8 in 1992, founded an organisation that promotes the fight against not only Childhood cancers but all cancer and the organisation is run by cancer. Leukemia is one of the many forms of childhood cancer, other forms of childhood cancer include Wilms tumour (affects kidney), Retinoblastoma (affect the eye), just to mention a few. “For the month CSQ has sent out to spread out awareness through the existing media, through what has been dubbed, “Childhood Cancer Survivor Media Marathon”.
The Media Marathon started from Tuesday 16th to Tuesday 23rd June 2015 with a target of at least 18 media. “These media houses include radio, print, Television, and online media. The main objective of this week is to inform Malawians all over that it is possible to survive childhood cancer, but if one can survive childhood cancer why is the survival rate of childhood cancer patients so low”, he explained.