Cancer patient’s plea to Government

A midwife by profession, Sister Kapiam Malak Maputiane is battling 1st stage cancer of the tongue.

But like the plight faced by many other average Papua New Guineans battling cancer, Sr. Maputiane needs urgent medical treatment overseas.

She is now questioning the government as to what extent they will allow cancer patients in the country to suffer before lifesaving medical intervention can be introduced into the health system. 

Sr. Maputiane was first diagnosed in August 2016 and underwent a major operation in June 2017 at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

She said an operation is just one part of the entire treatment process cancer patients are required to undergo.

Chemotherapy and radiation complete the recovery cycle. But sadly for cancer patients in the country, these vital treatment processes are a luxury that average Papua New Guinean families cannot afford and in many cases, the absence of chemotherapy and radiation causes the disease to spread.

“My mother went through monthly reviews after the major operation until April 10th 2018 where Ear, Nose and Throat medical teams discovered that the cancer tumour has spread to the back of her neck lymph nodes,” explained her son, Samson Kendeman.

Her family is now conducting fundraisers to raise at least K120,000 to send her to Manila, in the Philippines, to access radiation treatment.

Speaking on behalf of other cancer patients, Sr. Maputiane said the government’s inattention towards cancer treatment in the country shows nothing but lack of concern.

She added, if the government can source funding for roads and other physical development, it is a sad fact that the same cannot be accorded to improving health facilities, especially in response to cancer.

“Singaut blong me go long gavman long lukluk long dispela, sore long ol pipol wer mipla sik wantaim kensa na painim sampela rot long halivim mipla na impruvim kensa tritment insait long kantri,” Sr Maputiane pleaded.

Her family has raised up to K60,000 with an additional K1,000 presented to them by Pro-Poor & People’s Foundation Inc.

(Sister Kapiam Malak Maputiane)

Carolyn Ure