SLIC launches fund raising campaign for National Cancer Institute

30 October 2015 05:37 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Zahara Zuhair

Sri Lanka Insurance (SLIC) initiated a donation scheme named, ‘Call do donate’, a fundraiser, for the well being of  children suffering with cancer, which will start from 1st of November.
Public can contribute towards this worthy cause by simply dialling ‘1357’ each time they see or hear any insurance advertisement or by posting a ‘lifie’ on SLIC Facebook page. For each missed-call or picture SLIC would be donating Rs. 10 for the Paediatric Oncology unit of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
“Cancer, as a curable disease, we thought how we can give the financial assistance the cancer hospital needs. To buy expensive drugs available in the world now at a cost which most parents are unable to afford,” Sri Lanka Insurance Managing Director T M R Bangsa Jayah said emphasising the importance of the campaign.
“A child’s life is our responsibility. As we know most of the parents are unaware of the gravity of this disease, mainly cancer. If they know that it is curable, and medicine are available in the world, the only obstacle that they are not strong enough  financially to  meet that requirement. So it is our responsibility to step up and save their lives, give the medicine they need” he added.
He said that they are expecting to raise a minimum of Rs 3.5 million towards the fund.
The funds expect to provide assistance to the hospitals in the form of buying a C Pap Machine(CPAP), donation of prosthesis as well as essential medicine.
The C Pap machine which is currently not available in the hospital, will  help patients to breathe more easily during sleep, ensuring that the airway doesn’t collapse when breathing.
Elaborating on the initiative, NCI Paediatric Oncologist, Dr. Damayanthi Peris said, “In Sri Lanka, we have the free health policy and we treat patients free- of-charge. Maharagama has the only Paediatric Oncologist unit in this country and  children from all over the country come to us for treatment. Some goe abroad, but the ones who can’t afford to go abroad come to us” she said.
According to data by Ministry of Health, 3.4 percent of new cancer patients are under the age of 14 and 95 percent of all children diagnosed with cancer are treated at NCI.
“Our moto is childhood cancer is curable, i’m very happy to say that in our country out of leukemias we can cure 85 percent of the children for a complete cure. It is very comparable to Western world such as USA, UK who have about 95 percent cure rates, we are not very far behind, that is because of our free health system. The government is giving us all anti cancer medicines, most of the anti biotic medicines, blood products, hospitals. all of them given free of charge to the patients” she said.
She told that sometimes children who they treat can be very sick and they can acquire different kinds of infections, therefore sometimes they do not have enough anti-biotics and the required medicines  for that particular child  free of charge. 
She said that this is why companies could come forward to support them to make a pathway to provide that kind of drugs.
For those willing, yet unable to contribute directly, now have the opportunity to contribute towards this in thought and spirit by just sparing few seconds dialling 1357. 
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