Step up, survivor urges govt

Health Watch, Normal

The National, Thursday November 7th, 2013


THE Government has been urged to ensure there are facilities readily available in the country to detect and treat cancer.

Breast cancer survivor, Theresa Soweni, pictured, said she was blessed to be alive because she was able to access facilities and receive treatment in Cairns, Australia.

“I could afford it. But what about another mother, sister or aunt who is not as fortunate as I am?” she said. She opted for a second opinion overseas when she was not able to get a proper reading for her biopsy at the Pacific International Hospital in 2011.

The mammogram could not be done because the machine was not working. 

There is none at the countries biggest hospital, Port Moresby General Hospital.

“We have to get a mammogram machine. We want a technician for biopsy and whoever is going to read the results. Those things have to be in place,” she said. 

“There is no point doing biopsy here and readings are not coming out well, not read properly or not done properly. That has to be improved.”

For ultrasound, Soweni said there should be more people available because, at one stage, the person responsible for ultrasound at Port Moresby General Hospital was hardly in office to get it done.

“We shouldn’t have only one person responsible for it, we have to have other people who can do ultrasound when the other is not around,” she said. 

She stressed having the correct facilities in place were very important, including a specialist.

“Everybody should be appealing to the Government to have doctors (oncologist) and nurses specially trained to treat cancer.

“They only read and order according to what the pharmacologist order for us (cancer patients), how much to give and the doctors know how much to order. So the pharmacologist and doctor work together and then the nurses treat us. We have to have that in place,” Soweni said.