CAN forks out N$100 000 for patients

Jemimah Ndebele
An increase in national cancer cases has resulted in the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) forking out a staggering N$105 700 in health support funding for new cancer patients in February.

The association, which receives applications for funding on a monthly basis, received a total of 151 new applications for fiscal support last month. “The number of applications for February was particularly high – 150 for one month is a lot, and this is because screening numbers have increased since the pandemic. Since Covid, we have seen more people seeking medical attention and going to clinics, and so on. This has resulted in more patients being diagnosed,” said Rolf Hansen, CAN CEO.

Help when it’s critical

The association provides N$700 per month in monetary support for critical care patients, in addition to transportation and accommodation. Having been around for 55 years, the association’s business model revolves around strategic planning, with an emphasis on planning ahead to ensure that there are always funds readily available for critical patient care. “In efforts to avoid reaching a point of bankruptcy or being unable to provide financial support for patients, we plan ahead. “Part of this planning is ensuring that we have alternative care programmes in place, such as our interim homes, so that we can help patients during the first three months of vulnerability,” Hansen explained.

More and more children

Hansen said there is a concerning increase in the number of childhood cancer cases in the country as more applications for childhood cancer support are being received. “It saddens me that there is a rise in particularly childhood cancer, but as long as we strengthen support systems and services, I am confident that we can better support our young patients.”

The association’s fiscal support wing assists critical care cancer patients for the first three months of their treatment journey, and depending on patient progress, support is then changed to cater to their accommodation or transportation needs. Palliative patients are assisted with nappies, accommodation, transportation and sustenance.