The story of Humaid, the son of M.S Mohamed and how his dream inspired the Fight Cancer Team to create a new era of cancer treatment in Sri Lanka is one known to all. Even after the completion of the Rs. 200 million plus PET scanner project, they continued their march.
In April this year, A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and the Kadijah Foundation’s Fight Cancer Team with plans to purchase Tomotherapy and LINAC (Linear Particle Accelerator) machines for Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama.
The reality for cancer patients in Sri Lanka is dim and quite hopeless unless they possess great wealth and resource. Waiting lists have almost become synonymous to death sentences for over hundreds of patients per month and so poverty and disease are a fatal combination.
“For three years my son and I suffered inside the walls of an incapacitated hospital. Here we witnessed what sheer desperation and fear of death looked like on the faces of the impoverished.
“For three years my son and I suffered inside the walls of an incapacitated hospital. Here we witnessed what sheer desperation and fear of death looked like on the faces of the impoverished. And after my son’s demise, I knew I had to turn this challenge into an opportunity to help others,” stated M. S Mohamed, the spearhead of the FCT. Steps toward Tomotherapy and LINAC machines in Sri Lanka
And after my son’s demise, I knew I had to turn this challenge into an opportunity to help others,” stated M. S Mohamed, the spearhead of the FCT.
Tomotherapy and the LINAC machines will not only escalate the accuracy and quality of medical care but also enable hospitals to cater to larger numbers of patients.
According to Mohamed, “Tomotherapy is unavailable at any government hospital in the country. There is one machine in a private hospital, where they charge about 1.3 to 1.5 Billion Rupees.
There are four LINAC machines, two of which are over 40 years old. Here again, roughly 1.3 Billion is charged per session.”
The 240 membered Fight Cancer team is unfazed by their new target of One billion rupees for this clearly needed project. With separate divisions for media, IT and administration, several members of high command and the support of international branches (in six countries including Italy, Australia, Kuwait and the UK), the FCT team functions at an optimum level. Mohamed pointed out that the growing membership is home to an inter-racial and inter-faith inclusive union.
“During this time especially, our movement not only signifies a fight against cancer but against racism and inter-communal violence, as we are living proof that people of different ethnicities and religions flock together for the betterment of the nation,” he said.
However, their journey has also had its fair share of challenges. Mohamed explained that as unthinkable as it is, there are people who sabotage their selfless efforts. These are people who profit off the fact that people are pushed to their last resort and forced to ‘pay or die’, he said. He described them as ‘the mafia’ of the health sector. However, through the goodness fuelling their mission, they have been able to overcome social media attacks through fake accounts and false claims to destroy their honesty etc.
Since the project’s launch in April, ten percent of their target has been achieved. Although a whopping 900 million is left to be collected, Mohamed is far from anxious.
The reality for cancer patients in Sri Lanka is dim and quite hopeless unless they possess great wealth and resource. Waiting lists have almost become synonymous to death sentences for over hundreds of patients per month and so poverty and disease are a fatal combination
“What is amazing is that even during this difficult time, people are donating. If you do the math, an average of 2.400,000 has been deposited per day since the bank account was opened. This is proof that our goal is attainable,” he expressed.
He also hinted on plans involving gamma knife, proton and cybernetic technology to further radiation treatment for cancer patients in the future. The continually forward-thinking team aims to create by 2025 one of the best hospitals for Cancer in South Asia.
To Donate: Apeksha Cancer Hospital, Bank of Ceylon A/C no: 71275069