Christmas arrived earlier for Gaborone’s Cancer Association of Botswana (CAB) patients when the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security (MoADFS) Wellness Committee on December 6, donated multiple purpose pairs of blankets, five-litre plastic buckets, fabric softener and bathing soap, for a 22-bed ward on December.
Coinciding with St. Nicholas’ Day commemorating the gift-giving Saint, the MoADFS Wellness Unit and staff’s donation marked benevolent philanthropy underscoring the Jesus Christ’s mundane philosophical teaching: “It is more blessed to give than to receive”, the incumbent Minister Patrick Ralotsia said.
According to Ralotsia, the Ministry staff engaged in fundraising activities aimed towards a worthy cause: making a positive difference towards society’s marginalised, also based on the Bible’s New Testament Book of Acts 20:35 which reads: “In everything I did, I showed that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak!”
“During Botswana’s September and October 2016 Months of Prayer against HIV and AIDS and Cancer Awareness, respectively, the Wellness Unit pursued another dimension of the fundraising activities function such as awareness enhancement on the debilitating health conditions, in the absence of medical interventions.
“The initiative also inculcated a culture of giving among the Ministry staff in compliance with the Vision 2016 Pillar of a: ‘Compassionate, Just and Caring Nation’ also in resonance to the Presidential Appeal.
“Using the process as a bridge to outreach Batswana, CAB became a recipient of choice, based on CAB sterling work in cancer prevention, facilitating access to health care services for cancer patients as well as offering them much-needed counselling and support,” said Ralotsia.
The Ministry staff also decided to give a helping hand to do some menial chores for CAB after the donation ceremony of cleaning the centre and surroundings.
Commending the Agriculture Ministry for the donation CAB Matron Pelonomi Mazonde said this would go a long way in making life more comfortable for “our clients, especially those who leave family and travel long distances to access treatment”.
Through such initiatives CAB can offer a welcoming environment, where patients and caregivers can find comprehensive cancer care under one roof, empowering them to make informed decisions about their care.
Many cancer patients often struggle to manage the physical and emotional consequences of cancer and its treatment.
“From diagnosis and treatment to survivorship and caregiver support, the most common cancers include breast, lung, colon, prostrate or skin. Conventional treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and surgery. At the same time, supportive therapies help patients manage the side effects such as excruciating pain, nausea and fatigue, to name some,” said Mazonde.
In his complementary remarks CAB Chairman Thebe Baile invoked other civil society players to donate towards storage facilities, improving patient accommodation and aids such as wheelchairs.
“This donation marks the spirit of botho at its most compassionate, especially that as the sick are always with us, they will always look up to society for assistance,” said Baile.
CAB, a voluntary, non-governmental organisation established as a trust in 1998 helps patients and their loved ones navigate the cancer experience.