The Dorcas Cancer Foundation Pledges Support For Children

The Dorcas Cancer Foundation Pledges Support For Children

A non governmental organisation (NGO), Dorcas Cancer Foundation, has put in place mechanisms to assist children living with cancer.

According to its founder, Dr (Mrs) Adedayo Joseph, a Clinical Radiation Oncologist, the body is committed to improving cancer survival rates in Nigeria, especially in children.

She described cancer as a ‘bully’ worse than the playground bully. “Cancer does not try to steal our children’s lunch money, but tries to steal their future. This initiative is to assist children and their parents in coping with cancer in Nigeria and help create awareness on the disease,” she explained.

Throwing more light on the goals of the NGO, Dr Joseph said every year, thousands of children around the world are diagnosed with cancer. According to her, about 80 percent of these children live in low to middle income category in the country.

She said: “Many children die of cancer every day in developing countries such as Nigeria. We, in Dorcas Cancer Foundation, are determined to create awareness as well as procure drugs, generate funds and create social support to these ones. We are devoted to improving early cancer detection, ensuring accurate diagnosis and enabling prompt and proper treatment of childhood cancer. We, also carrying out childhood cancer awareness platforms to educate the public and reduce the stigmatisation and superstition associated with cancer.

“We, at Dorcas Cancer foundation, are committed to providing financial support to children diagnosed with cancer so they can get access to further diagnosis, treatment and emotional support to beat the disease, be cancer free and live a normal and healthy life. The Dorcas Cancer Foundation is 100 per cent committed to easing the journey of the kids suffering from cancer.”

Dr Joseph said the most problem facing the children and perhaps their parents, is lack of network. “They don’t have friends to share pains with. They don’t have experience, so basically whatever happens to them is completely dependent on what the parent knows.

To create more awareness on childhood cancer, Dorcas Foundation launched a handbook that can give basic information about cancer in children.

The book, according to Dr Joseph, was designed for three major groups of individuals- the medical doctors, parents and other personalities, who are curious about childhood cancer. Dr Joseph said the most common type of cancer in children is leukemia, which is the cancer of the blood. She described the symptoms of leukemia as frequent infections and illnesses, bruising that take time to heal. Another symptom is the discoloration of the eye, abdominal pains and headache.

Consultant Pediatric Hemato-Oncologist with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr Seye Akinsete, praised parents of children with cancer for always standing and showing motherly love to the kids.

Dr Akinsete said Dorcas Foundation is not only here to provide money for the parents, but to save cancer children. He appealed to professional bodies to assist so that the children can get adequate treatment. “We need the private sector and more robust insurance companies to partner with, so as to improve on childhood cancer,” he stated.

Consultant and Professor of Radiotherapy and Oncology, LUTH, Prof Aderemi Ajekigbe said government needs to subsidise cancer drugs, adding that cancer drugs are very expensive and not everyone can afford it. “Provision of therapy machines, building of more facilities will all go a long way in cancer treatment, management and preventive measures in adults and children. I urge everyone to donate to this cancer care NGO to help cancer patients,” he added.

Some beneficiaries of the Foundation expressed their gratitude, thanking the body for coming to their rescue when hope seems lost.

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