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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

We may need blood to survive one day

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We are overwhelmed with fear and uneasiness over the future of our children. We are worried with statistics indicating that cancer cases are increasing.

For starters, cancer is a public health problem in Malawi–a total of 18,946 new cases of cancer were registered between 2007 and 2010. Of these, 55.9 percent were females, 7.2 percent were children aged less than 15 years.

The scary thing is that these numbers have been going up since 2007.

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Scaling up and/or improving the quality of laboratory verified diagnosis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment could be some of cancer prevention, treatment and control interventions that Malawi can adopt to save lives, especially those of children.

But sometimes we also need public support and that is lacking. The Paediatric Cancer Department at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) over the weekend made a call for more blood donations to save innocent lives of children with cancer.

Medical Director for Paediatric Hematology and Oncology Department at KCH, Steve Martin, laments that the department does not have enough blood required to assist patients. At best, the department gets between 20 and 30 percent of what it needs.

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Fortunately, we, as individuals can do something to fill the half-empty blood banks so that we can save children.

This is, surely, a worthwhile cause. Our call goes especially to our misguided and idled generation whose future is predominantly knotted to alcohol abuse, drug addiction, gambling, gossiping while nursing an embarrassingly low appetite for helping one another.

Sometimes, we enjoy wasting our time talking about politics, writing full-page articles about the political machinations of our day, or writing on social media about petty indifferences. We seldom take time to look at other issues that really matter.

The shortage of blood in hospitals is not only a shame to us, a nation of 17 million people. It portrays us as a hopeless people that do not care about sick children. Almost everyone including those in authority is ignoring this entrenched reality in our time.

Let us rise up from the embers of our selfishness and, for once, reach out to others.

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