How Gondwana Collection Namibia raises awareness for cancer

As you walk in through the big gate at the Gondwana Travel Center, you can already sense that today is not an ordinary day at the Gondwana head office. If the security wearing his pink badge did not give it away, the lady with the huge pink afro will: It is Cancer Awareness day at the Gondwana Travel Centre and man and woman is wearing their pink with pride!

Iroleen in her creative pink look.

Iroleen in her creative pink look.

Nurse Christolina Kavetuna from the Cancer Association of Namibia visited us today to give a speech on the most common forms of cancer in Namibia, their warning signs and some of the causes of cancer.

The Gondwana Travel Centre staff listening to Nurse Christie

The Gondwana Travel Centre staff listening to Nurse Christie

WHAT DOES THE CANCER ASSOCIATION DO?

It is imperative to understand that a shocking average of 3 000 Namibians are diagnosed with cancer on average annually. The Cancer Association has it as its mission to make contact with as many of these patients and try to assist to the best of our abilities where possible.

“We have a very hands-on approach and policy when assistance is requested by patients,” says CAN CEO, Rolf Hansen.

The Association tries to provide to as many persons as possible in striving to attain its objectives. This is done, amongst other projects and initiatives, through various media campaigns, school and community visits and projects hosted by the Association.

The main focus of the Cancer Association of Namibia is to create awareness, educate and support the fight against cancer and cancer patients within the country. Besides providing personal support, they also provide financial support to cancer patients and loan them equipment where needed.

After information dispersal and education on prevention, rehabilitation and emotional support during the treatment period remains an ongoing daily task of the Association. This is primarily achieved through the Association’s “Reach for Recovery Namibia” (RFRN) project.

Reach for Recovery is internationally a recovery programme supported by breast cancer patients who extend a helping hand and network in the fight against breast cancer. The new Namibian version supports and encourages the traditional RFR programme, but expands its horizons with the Namibian arm, by allowing any Namibian who is dedicated and willing to help fight cancer and its effects in Namibia to become a volunteer “Reach for Recovery Namibia support member”. Training is conducted based on the new adapted manual and volunteers are grouped per region with a Team Leader, who helps to guide and support them.

Gerhard introducing Nurse Christie

Gerhard from HR introducing Nurse Christie

WHAT IS CANCER?

Cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells in the body. There are over 200 different types of cancer. Cancer can affect anyone – no race, age, gender or sex is immune to cancer and it is every Namibian’s responsibility to try and fight cancer together.

Nurse Christie explaining exactly what cancer cells are

Nurse Christie explaining exactly what cancer cells are

COMMON FORMS OF CANCER IN NAMIBIA :

  1. Skin cancer
  2. Breast cancer
  3. Prostate cancer
  4. Cervical cancer
  5. Kaposi Sarcoma / Blood Vessel cancer
  6. Colon Cancer
  7. Oral cavity cancer
the staff thanking Nurse Christie for comming

The Gondwana Travel Centre staff thanking Nurse Christie for talking about cancer

WARNING SIGNS OF CANCER:

–        Lump, swelling in body

–        Change in bowel habits / bladder functions

–        Unusual bleeding discharging

–        Recent changes in moles / warts

–        Persistent coughing

–        Consistent weight loss

–        Recurrent diarrhea

CAUSES OF CANCER:

–        Lifestyle choices

o   Smoking

o   Alcohol

o   High sugary diets

o   Lack of exercise

o   Diet

o   Stress

o   Obesity

–        Age

–        Heritage (15% of cancer sicknesses are inherited)

The beautiful piniada that Iris conquered for us

The beautiful pinata that Iris conquered for us

If you would like to find out more about the Cancer Association of Namibia, feel free to visit their website www.can.org.na or email help@can.org.na

Or contact them telephonically via 061 237740 to find out more about what they do and how to support them.

We thank the Cancer Association of Namibia for their support and we thank Nurse Christolina Kavetuna for coming to the Gondwana Travel Centre and teaching us about cancer.