Cancer drug shortage

Participants during the Fiji Cancer Society Pink Walk at Marine Drive in Lautoka. Picture :BALJEET SINGH

The Fiji Cancer Society has noted shortages in chemotherapy drugs since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.

Society chief executive officer Belinda Chan shared this during the Pinktober morning walk which attracted more than 200 people in Lautoka yesterday.

However, the society confirmed the purchase of drugs for patients who needed them in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa.

Mrs Chan said the 2020 launch and morning walk would enable residents in Lautoka to be aware of the existence of the Western Cancer Support Group – a group they could rely on for cancer information and awareness.

Mrs Chan said funds raised went towards patient support and outreach programs.

“Now with COVID-19, we also have requests from the hospitals to provide for the shortages in their consumables, chemotherapy drugs and equipment,” she said.

“Patient support is not limited to transportation (land, sea and air), ambulance transfers, medication (daily request due to the unavailability of meds on the essential drug list), diapers for palliative patients but also inpatients, medical oxygen for those requiring oxygen in the home, groceries for patients, prosthetic bras.

“The society also provides breasts for ladies that have had a mastectomy, home visitations, hospital beds and wheelchairs if available.”

Western Cancer Support Group chair Balavu Tora said funds raised and contributions received from organisations were directed to patient support services.

Ms Tora said there was no charge for their service; however, they would require patients to register with them. She acknowledged the continued support of corporate organisations.

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