Category Archives: News & Events

Collusion Probe into Cancer Medications


As if Cancer patients do not have a difficult enough time fighting this destructive disease, Pharmaceutical Companies in South Africa are now being investigated for excessive pricing of cancer medication.

Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele from the Competition Commission announced last week at a briefing at the Department of Trade and Industry headquarters in Pretoria on Tuesday, that an investigation is to be initiated against oncology medicine provider Roche Holding AG, which includes its US-based biotechnology company Genentech Incorporated.

The matter is of grave national importance,” said Bonakele.

He explained that anti-competitive behaviour the healthcare sector, particularly pharmaceuticals could have a negative impact on consumers, specifically the poor and vulnerable.

The commission believes the company has engaged in excessive pricing, price discrimination and exclusionary conduct in the provision of breast cancer medicine in South Africa.

The commission says it has reason to believe that pharmaceutical companies Aspen, Roche and Pfizer are involved in alleged excessive pricing of these lifesaving drugs.

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Private Doctors Jump in to Rescue KZN Cancer Patients


In a Facebook Post last week, we shared with you the frightening news that Cancer Patients in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa would henceforth have to relocate to another province or die as the last cancer specialist in Durban has resigned.

As of the close of business on Friday‚ there will not be a single cancer specialist doctor employed at any state hospital in Durban – and only two will be left in KwaZulu-Natal.

This shocking development leaves hundreds – if not thousands – of cancer patients in KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest city facing clinical uncertainty and staring the possibility of death squarely in the face. It follows the resignation of the city’s last state oncologist‚ whose last day is Friday.

At least two cancer patients’ families have attributed their untimely deaths to the non-functional cancer treatment equipment at Addington‚ according to a statement released ahead of a march by doctors in Durban. Both patients were reportedly referred to Inkosi Albert Luthuli hospital as oncology machines at Addington were allegedly broken. But because of excessively long waiting lists‚ they died before they could be treated.

Democratic Alliance MPL Dr Imran Keeka said the party had submitted a complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission in February last year about the collapse of the oncology service.

He said a report‚ which has not been made public yet‚ was forwarded to him and the respondents‚ KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo‚ the KZN Department of Health‚ and officials at Addington and Inkosi Albert Luthuli.

“Because the report cannot be made public as yet‚ the contents cannot be divulged. The DA is hopeful that the unchanged report is made public very soon‚” he said.

Fortunately this week we can bring you some slightly better news…

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Cancer Not Recognised as a Priority Disease in South Africa


It is  crying shame to see what has happened to the once proud, functional and world-renowned South African Health Department.

South Africa used to have some of the best hospitals, doctors and nurses in the world and they were sought after by many overseas countries, but alas that is no more…

Twenty years ago on the 24th of this month a wonderful medical team at Groote Schuur Hospital saved my life (Stage IV Urethral Carcinoma) – virtually all of them are now either retired or practicing overseas due to the sad condition of and lack of support from the South African Department of Health 😦

It has become the norm to see articles about bad medical practices, hospitals and clinics running out of chronic medication, broken equipment, patients being left to lie in their own excrement, patients not being attended to and patients dying needlessly, etc. etc. and it makes me wanna bawl my eyes out…

While the following article is essentially about the state of the Ailing Kwazulu-Natal Health System, one has only to watch the news or read a newspaper to know that things are not much better at other State Hospitals around the country 😦

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has a lot of explaining to do…

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International Childhood Cancer Day ~15th February


iccd-poster-2February 15th is International Childhood Cancer Day; a day on which individuals across the globe create awareness around the fact that cancer does not discriminate by age.

Today we also think about all the children who are fighting cancer and their families and wish them Love, Light & Healing and remember all our Little Fighters who lost the battle and their Loved Ones and wish them Love, Light & Strength.

For far too long, the rights and needs of children/adolescents with cancer have been marginalised and neglected. While deaths due to infectious diseases have been significantly reduced, deaths due to childhood cancer are increasing.

Every day 700 children and adolescents below the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer. Of the 250 000 diagnosed with cancer each year, about 90 000 of them will lose their lives to the disease.

Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 15.

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World Cancer Day ~ 4th February: “We Can ~ I Can.”


world-cancer-day-2017dEvery year on 4th February,  a truly global event takes place ~ World Cancer Day unites the global population in the fight against cancer in an attempt to prevent millions of deaths each year by raising Awareness and Education about the disease, urging governments and individuals across the world to take action.

Despite recent scientific progress in finding treatments and improving patients’ care, 8.2 million people still die each year from cancer, nearly 50% of them between the age of 30 and 69. This figure is expected to rise to 11.5 million by 2025 and 13 million by 2030.

Low- and middle-income countries are more affected than high income countries – two thirds of global cancer deaths occur in these places – and this trend is predicted to continue in the next decade.

One of the ways to reduce mortality rates is to improve early diagnosis strategies. This is the message that the World Health Organization, working closely with World Cancer Day’ organisers, wants to put forward.

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Improved Comprehensive Guidelines for Chemotherapy – South Africa


ChemotherapyA group of South African cancer practitioners has developed  a new set of Comprehensive Guidelines to manage chemotherapy treatment and improve patient safety and protect healthcare workers.

Chemotherapy Administration Guidelines was compiled by members of the Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON) in consultation with global oncologists and cancer experts to address a substantial gap in South African cancer care protocol. The resource, a first for South Africa, will be released later this month.

According to Dr David Eedes, clinical oncology advisor for ICON, there has never been a single resource document in South Africa that addresses best practice at all three levels of chemotherapy administration:

  1. The Oncologists who prescribe the medication;
  2. The Pharmacists who dispense it; and
  3. The Nurses who administer it.

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Teen Cancer Fighter Miché Aces Matric


January 12, 2017. Cape Town. Vanessa Gertse received the MEC's special award for exeptional academic achievment. With her is Premier Helen Zille, MEC Debbie Scafer and Brian Schreuder - Head of education dept. Photo by Ruvan Boshoff

Miché Gertse aka Iron Girl, is a Little Fighters Cancer Trust Teen Fighter and Ambassador who has just, despite battling through overwhelming odds, attained TWO DISTINCTIONS and a university exemption.

Although 17-year-old Miché , a matriculant from Bernadino Heights High, may not have been the Western Cape’s best matriculant, she was awarded the Ministerial Award for Excellence last week by Premier Helen Zille at her official residence in Gardens‚ Leeuwenhof, together with 60 other members of the class of 2016 honoured by the provincial government.

Miché’s story is one of overcoming overwhelming odds and extreme courage in the face of devastating Childhood Cancer.

Miché was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 2007 at the age of 10, whereafter she had a tumour removed from her right leg, and her femur was replaced with a metal prosthesis.

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Muhammad Hussain’s Story & Dream Come True


muhammadThis is a story of Devastation, of Hope, of Unconditional Love and of how complete strangers pulled together and restored some Faith in Humanity by being a part of making a terminally ill child’s Dream Come True.

Muhammad Hussain was born to ecstatic parents, Fahrad and Kaamielah, on 15 September 2009, and for the first six months of his Life, Muhammad was a happy, bubbly and normal baby.

At the age of 6 months his parents began noticing that he was not always that well, and after numerous visits to the paediatrician he was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in August 2010, and spent his first birthday in hospital. HLH is a very rare blood disease and immune system disorder, and according to Swedish studies, occurs in 1 or 2 cases per million, usually in infancy or early childhood.

After starting a search for a bone marrow match due to HLH, Muhammad was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in February 2012, at the age of 2.

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Little Fighters Cancer Trust Launches New SmartApp


It is with great excitement and pride that the Little Fighters Cancer Trust launches its very own SmartApp, during Childhood Cancer Awareness month!

The LFCT SmartApp is compatible with all Smart Phones, and easily downloadable for FREE

 

smartapp-poster

 

How do I Get the LFCT SmartAPP?

1    Sms LFCT to 47470 and you will receive an SMS containing a link to download the #LFCTSmartApp (R1.50 per sms)

2    Scan the QR code on the left on this poster, and you will be automatically taken to the homepage!

(Available as a FREE download via App Store soon!)

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New Fellowship to Strengthen Cancer Care in Africa


Medical Oncology FellowshipMerck, a leading science and technology company, recently announced the first Merck Africa Medical Oncology Fellowship Program for Sub-Saharan African countries in partnership with University of Nairobi, Kenya.

The program will be conducted at University of Nairobi and is part of Merck’s efforts to improve access to cancer care and strengthen the healthcare system in emerging markets.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) projects that there will be 16 million new cases of cancer every year by 2020, 70% of which will be in developing countries where governments are least prepared to address the growing cancer burden and where survival rates are often less than half those of more developed countries.

Starting this year, 9 medical doctors from sub-Saharan African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa will have the opportunity to study at the university for two years through the Merck Africa Medical Oncology Fellowship. The programme will be extended to other African countries in the next year.

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Celebrating Nelson Mandela


mandela-day-logoJuly 18th is International Nelson Mandela Day.

International Nelson Mandela Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010

Madiba spent 67 years making the world a better place, and the call is out for people everywhere to celebrate his birthday by acting on the idea that each person has the power to change the world.

Every year millions of individuals across the globe spend part of the day devoting 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mr. Mandela’s public service – doing something for the less fortunate as a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good

The fact that there is an International Day to honour this man is very fitting because of the Hope that he brought to the world. Nelson Mandela was the face of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy in South Africa, but more than that he was revered for his Courage, his Spirit of Reconciliation, his Wisdom, his Forgiveness, his Grace and his Love for Children.

We as Little Fighters Cancer Trust are paying homage to this great man today for his Love of Children, because it is that love that is so needed in this world. There are so many children who need so much in this world, but all children need love.

 

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Mother’s Day 2016 Appeal


A Mother’s love is something that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away
~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

 

Mother’s Day is a day on which mothers across the world are celebrated and honoured for the role that they play in our lives and in society, and in our eyes there are no mothers who deserve this honour and a little bit of spoiling more than the mothers of our Little Fighters.

The earliest history of Mother’s Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honour Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology.

Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. It may be noted that ceremonies in honour of Cybele began some 250 years before Christ was born. The celebration made on the Ides of March by making offerings in the temple of Cybele lasted for three days and included parades, games and masquerades. The celebrations were notorious enough that followers of Cybele were banished from Rome.

Early Christians celebrated a Mother’s Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ.

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Swim for Hope Fundraising ~ Almost There… Push! Push! Push! ;-)


sfh2016Good Day ALL! I feel like singing Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” song this morning because we have had some human angels do donations overnight and our Swim for Hope fundraising effort has climbed quite a bit.

Donating to this worthy cause is your way of helping us to help more Children with Cancer by honouring the COURAGEOUS efforts of the 17 swimmers that took on the rough, icy seas of the Cape of Storms in the EPIC  8km Cape Point Rounding last Friday!

In actual fact, I think that is exactly what I WILL do… sing along with me now…

It might seem crazy what I’m ’bout to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

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Swim for Hope Target Growing Closer ~ R15k to go!!


sfh2016Good Morning ALL, it is SO exciting to see the figures in our Swim for Hope fundraising effort climbing slowly day by day… we SO want to make our target this year so that more Little Fighters can be helped.

Donating to this worthy cause is your way of helping Children with Cancer by honouring the EPIC efforts of the 17 swimmers that took on the rough, icy seas of the Cape of Storms in the Extreme  8km Cape Point Rounding last Friday!

Just to get you a bit more motivated, here are some more details about the event and some photos so that you can see exactly what these heroes of ours had to face:

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