There are significant gaps in the data when it comes to understanding South Africa’s cancer burden. Things are however set to improve with an initiative that will allow members of the public to assist in data gathering. Elri Voigt reports on a new patient-led cancer registry that will feed into South Africa’s existing National Cancer Registry.
Following an article in Spotlight bemoaning “the lack of urgency” by the Gauteng Department of Health in addressing cancer and surgical backlogs despite having been allocated funds toward this, Dr Stephen Mankupane, Acting Head of Hospital Services in the provincial health department, writes that there is no disputing the fact that there is a need to act with urgency in attending to these backlogs and outlines what the department is doing. Here is his response in full.
It is almost three months since – partly through the efforts of SECTION27 and Cancer Alliance – money was made available to the Gauteng Health Department to outsource radiation oncology services and address surgical backlogs in the province. It is deeply worrying that despite being provided with resources for this outsourcing project, very little has been done to date to ensure that patients get the long overdue care that they need, writes Khanyisa Mapipa.
As one of eight CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) homes offering accommodation to cancer patients while on treatment around South Africa, Eikehof in Athlone is a godsend for many. Bienne Huisman visited the facility and spoke to staff and some patients.
The resignation of renowned breast cancer specialist surgeon Professor Carol-Ann Benn from the Helen Joseph Hospital has fuelled concerns about the loss of expertise for the public health sector amid existing pressures on cancer services in Gauteng. Ufrieda Ho spoke to health authorities, patients, and breast clinic volunteers about the potential impact on cancer care at the hospital.
A cancer patient navigator’s work days can be filled with both hope and hell, but their role can make all the difference when someone receives what can be the most devastating news of their lives. Ufrieda Ho spent some time with a cancer patient navigator for a glimpse of what it takes to do this job.