KidzCan attends memorable Orange Day in schools
The KidzCan team on Friday, 26 February 2022 toured two schools in Harare in a campaign trail of awareness on Childhood cancer to mark Orange Day, an occasion that is set aside to express solidarity with young ones who suffer from the disease.
KidzCan nurse and the health promotions coordinator Charity Kawadza said the awareness program is important because it ensures that children get to learn about the various cancers affecting them thereby fostering early detection and treatment.
“Cancer in children can be cured if detected timeously, this is why we have come here to teach you about the various cancers that affect people of your age and how they manifest so that if detected early you also get treated immediately. You are the doctors of tomorrow, we want you to grow up knowing these things,” said Kawadza.
On Orange Day children attend school clad in orange and bring a donation that goes towards the treatment of paediatric cancer sufferers and their families, who often have to deal with the scourge in solitude due to stigma caused by ignorance.
The trip started with Westridge High School in Belvedere before proceeding to Eaglesvale in Aspindale where an assortment of activities were lined up for the big day. The venue was immaculately and colourfully decorated with bright orange balloons and pupils seated round the swimming pool.
From the orange t-shirts and jackets complemented by banners, it was clear that the childhood cancer message has gotten home. It was amazing to see that parents had prepared their children this way.
Perhaps this is the clearest message that schools and parents have embraced the teachings on childhood cancer and are ready to support. One teacher, who is also a parent spoke to KidzCan and said that only a few parents are aware that cancer in children can be cured if detected early and the awareness was a good way of spreading the message.
“Only a few people realise that children suffer from cancer and that if detected early it can be cured. As parents, we are ready to support the teachings of childhood cancer and broaden the chances of survival for our children,” said one parent who wanted to remain anonymous.
This is one of the numerous campaigns held by KidzCan across the country in the drive to end ignorance on childhood cancer.
In Zimbabwe, like any other low to middle-income country, most patients succumb to cancer due to late presentation.
The patient only seeks medical attention as a last resort after having fully exhausted the first local line of defence mechanisms like spiritual and traditional herbalists.
Meanwhile the cancer will be spreading reducing the likelihood of successful treatment.
A diagnosis of cancer in a child has the capacity to invoke many emotions and alter the family’s way of life. Suddenly one has to grapple with many questions whose answers may be unavailable. A feeling of alarm and despondency may creep in and this is where information through these campaign programmes is important.
The two trips come in the wake of another one held last week at Canonbury Primary School in Msasa for similar purposes.