Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Public urged to extend more assistance to cancer patients

Real Insurance chief executive officer, Stephen Okundi
A Call has been made for individuals, companies and institutions to extend support to cancer patients, a positive gesture which health stakeholders said could help to improve and prolong their lifespan.

The call was made by Real Insurance chief executive officer Stephen Okundi at a special function held over the weekend when the company donated food and other domestic supplies to cancer patients admitted at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) in Dar es Salaam.

In recognition to the need for humanitarian support to patients, the company’s management has made an impassionate appeal to players in the private sector to cultivate the culture of supporting cancer patients, saying the gesture could bring sigh of relief to the sick people.

The latest donation was part of the company’s long-term social corporate responsibility strategy, designed to assist patients and other vulnerable social groups in need of assistance in Tanzania, according to Okundi.

Among other items given to Ocean Road cancer patients include bags of rice, beans, sugar, flour, cooking oil, tooth paste with a total value of more than 3m/-.

“We are doing this not because the company is rich but we feel and understand the obligation to assist the needy - cancer patients, who also need both moral and material supports from the community. This kind of support can even speed up their recovery,” Okundi said.

He made an appeal to other corporate companies, organisations, investors and individuals to emulate the spirit by extending a helping hand to patients suffering from long illnesses.

Quoting documented medical research studies, Okundi said: “Currently, there are many patients in Tanzania dying not because they have not received proper treatment, but because they lack encouragement and timely support from the community.”

“Therefore, everybody is duty-bound to take good care of patients, by giving them both moral and material supports they need. We should not leave this task to the government alone,” Okundi advised.

Speaking after receiving the donation, the Ocean Road Hospital’s social worker officer, Nicolas Mshana, expressed profound appreciation for the contribution from Real Insurance company ltd, which he said would make patients feel good knowing that society remembers them.

“Some patients have stayed long in the hospital. They absolutely need this kind of support. The generous act has set a good example and sense of care to the needy. It reminds other generous groups of their noble obligation to care for others,” Mshana remarked.

He further said that the government had invested a lot in general operations of the Ocean Road Cancer Institute; including the installation of modern facilities for high-class treatment.

He said: “it was unfair to continue pressing the government to provide other minor essentials which the community, business companies, individuals can equally do,” he asked.

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