Posted by : Posted on : 06-Aug-2019

Call for action over needless Pacific cancer deaths

It is anticipated that the National Referral Hospital will soon get its first CT-Scan through the very kind and generous support of Lady Primrose Potter, AC, and the Solomon Foundation, a charitable body based in Australia.

The CT-Scan cannot come soon enough being a highly necessary and vital diagnostic tool.

The value of a hospital having a CT-Scan was highlighted today in a news reported relayed by Radio New Zealand which said thousands of Pacific people are dying from a lack of cancer treatment, New Zealand medical researchers say.

Quoting the news bulletin it went on to add, quote:

They say there is little or no treatment available in many Pacific countries for what are easily treatable cancers.

“The problems are apparent right across the Pacific, from Papua New Guinea to Tokelau, said one of the co-authors of the research, Otago University Medical School in Wellington, Professor Alec Ekeroma.

“It is not just a lack of treatment facilities, Professor Ekeroma said, but also a lack of diagnoses.

"There is a lack of capability in terms of investigations and treatment," he said.

"So investigations in terms of TIFs [Telomere Induced Foci], CT Scans for example is something very basic in imaging of cancers now, whereas most Pacific countries do not have access to CT Scans, catscans."

“It's hoped Pacific nations and their development partners will address the issue, Alec Ekeroma said.

“Pacific Health Ministers are meeting in Tahiti this week and Professor Ekeroma said they want the ministers to recognise the problem and act on it.

“He said the first thing that needs to be done is to find exact numbers of cancer patients in the Pacific by each country completing cancer registries, "because counting of course would be able to provide funders the evidence that there is a huge problem in the Pacific and then would actually need to develop censuses of treatment in the Pacific. That is in surgery, radiotherapy and also chemotherapy, with of course development partners and countries like Australia and New Zealand."

“The report is also appearing in The Lancet Oncology today.”

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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