Dr Phophi Ramathuba joins half-marathon to spread cancer awareness among children

Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba today joined a half marathon at Peter Mokaba Stadium as the kickstart of the childhood cancer awareness month campaign activities. 

Dr Phophi Ramathuba joins half-marathon to spread cancer awareness among children
Dr Phophi Ramathuba joins half-marathon to spread cancer awareness among children

Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba today joined a half marathon at Peter Mokaba Stadium as the kickstart of the childhood cancer awareness month campaign activities. 

September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and as such, an increase in awareness for those affected by childhood cancer is encouraged.

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According to Dr Phophi Ramathuba, “Globally, we are seeing more children being diagnosed with cancer. It is now estimated that 1 in 408 children worldwide will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 15. A shocking estimation and reality.”


 

 


“However, with advancements in the treatment of cancer, we should still be able to save the lives of the majority of children diagnosed with cancer. In Limpopo, in 2021 alone, we diagnosed just over 100 children with cancer, of which around 46 died. This is unacceptable in view of the availability of treatment for children with cancer. As a province, our major challenge remains the late identification of the early warning signs of childhood cancer within households and communities and the subsequent speedy referral of children to the Paediatric Oncology Unit at the Pietersburg Tertiary Hospital,” Ramathuba.

Furthermore, Ramathuba added that we need to join hands to raise awareness on the early warning signs of childhood cancer so that we can efficiently identify, diagnose and treat all children with cancer before stages 3 and 4, which is currently when they are diagnosed. 

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We can only save the lives of our children if we empower ourselves as parents/guardians, educators, traditional and religious/spiritual leaders, and all other forms of leaders to know the early warning signs of childhood cancer and do our utmost to prevent delays in referring children with these early warning signs to a health facility in order for a speedy diagnosis and treatment initiation, she concluded. 

The Limpopo department of health has lined up activities in different selected health facilities across the province, including, amongst others, Elim Hospital (Vhembe District) on the 13 September 2022, Voortrekker Hospital (Waterberg District) on the 14 September 2022, Lebowakgomo Hospital(Capricorn District) on the 15 September 2022, Macklenberg Hospital) Sekhukhune District) on 16 September 2022 and Kgapane Hospital (Mopani District) on 28 September 2022.

Early detection, referral, diagnosis and treatment initiation saves the lives of our children.