THE Rotary Club of Lae marked its 50th anniversary of community service with a major K35,000 donation to Angau Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Unit to buy medical equipment.
The cheque was presented to the unit’s oncologist Dr John Niblett by club president Chris Wakelin.
The money was raised from the club’s annual fundraising corporate golf day held at the Lae golf course last year.
The donation is one of many by the club to help the cancer unit which was treating an increasing number of patients, mainly women with cervical cancer.
Dr Niblett said the most recent gift from the club was a wheel chair for an 11-year old girl with bone cancer and a box of bed linen for the cancer ward.
He asked the club to help raise funds for a CT scanner for the unit to diagnose cancer, plan treatment and for other purposes such as brain tumours, head injuries and abdominal conditions.
Currently, cancer patients have to travel to Port Moresby to be scanned.
Dr Niblett also gave a report card on the rise in patients at the cancer unit due to referrals from other hospitals.
“The prediction made in 2001 that the number of cancer patients will increase to 10,000 or 15,000 seems to be accurate,” he said.
He told Rotarians that the cobalt unit, which was used to provide radio therapy for patients, was able to serve the number of patients well in the 1970s and 1980s.
It is, however, not able to cope with the current growing number of patients.
“There are only three trained radiation therapists,” he said.
Dr Niblett said in this month alone, 400 new patients registered.
He praised long-time Rotarian Ross Humphries for his untiring efforts to help the cancer unit.