Health Dept Talk Cancer

The Department of Health is holding a two-day stakeholders meeting on Cancer at the APEC Haus in Port Moresby.

The initiative is in support of the World Cancer day theme ‘Close the Care Gap’, this is about identifying and addressing the barriers that exists for people around the world to access the care they need.

The objectives of the meeting is to achieve and provide appropriate approaches to the implementation level in cancer prevention, control and care within PNG.

Both Morobe Provincial Health Authority (PHA) and Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) will be expanding on treating cancer patients in the future.

Morobe PHA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Kipas Binga, said that the best way to go forward was to bring a balance in the way of spending money.

“We are looking at ways on how to improve our services, we would like to start by getting back the old cancer facility that we had. So once we get it up and going, it will now trigger a lot of things that’s going to happen,” said Dr Binga.

He said patients will come in and will start to zoom out to the awareness areas and use that as a ground to start rather than going everywhere.

Dr Binga said, “Start somewhere, go out and start with treatment, and spiral out more into the communities. Why I am saying spiraling is because we are getting these experts to assist us.

“We must also be very mindful that we don’t have such skills in the country but we have the opportunity, how do we best utilize that?”

He said,” We should also train our own this is the spiraling effect we want to see, not only from the program in terms of treatment but also in the technicalities in delivering those services.”

Meantime, Dr. Peter Olali from PMGH stated the realities of cancer patients in the National Capital District have brought people far and wide to get treated at a room with only five beds for chemotherapy daily.

He said finally a way has been given to serve cancer patients.

“Prior to 2008, there was only a little room that was allocated for giving cancer treatment what we call chemotherapy but at the time chemotherapy is a combination of plenty drugs. We combine them and give to patients but at that time when the room was allocated, it was a space where there was no nurses that dealt with chemotherapy.

“So those that had mouth cancer and other cancers related to mouth cancer they use to send them over there and give only one cancer drug. After 2008, ward 4C was allocated specifically for cancer treatment,” Dr Olali said.

He said everybody that had surgery were referred to ward 4C as it was a day clinic with allocated staff and that was the biggest change in terms of cancer treatment in Port Moresby.

The new cancer facility that is currently in construction near Port Moresby General Hospital will be great change to the cancer department as the ground works are complete and bunkers completed. Dr. Olali stated that the facility should be completed by mid-next year.

Jasmine Iru