Radiation control bill is a victory, advocate says


The Radiation Control Bill to be presented in Parliament by Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu is a victory for the country in
terms of battling cancer, an advocate says.
Walk the Talk against Cancer coordinator Barbara Toiya thanked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and former Health Minister Michael Malabag for addressing the legislation
and policy gaps of cancer in the country.
Walk the Talk Cancer is an initiative of the Catholic Diocese of Goroka launched in 2016 to raise fund to purchase much-needed cancer diagnostic and treatment facilities for hospitals in Chimbu and Eastern Highlands.
“Legislation and policy gaps have been a big hindrance to hospitals in Papua New Guinea to have facilities and machines to diagnose and treat cancer patients,”Toiya told The National.
“Many people have died and some are dying, especially women suffering from cervical cancer – who cannot easily access radiotherapy and other forms of cancer treatment cheaply in the country.”
She said the Radiotherapy Control Bill would allow hospitals such as Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital in Chimbu – which was declared a cancer referral hospital last year  to procure necessary cancer treatment and diagnostic equipment.
“If the bill is not passed, Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital  would not have all the facilities necessary to treat cancer as a referral hospital, such as the Lynax machine for radiotherapy,” Toiya said.
“We appeal to the prime minister and other MPs to support
the bill in Parliament to make it a law.”
She said Angau Cancer Centre in Lae and Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital needed the full support of Government and relevant authorities to ensure timely delivery of cancer services to the people in Papua New Guinea.

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