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The Scribe
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I am tired of the HIV/Aids thing!!

15 May 2014, 22:15

While I agree that HIV/AIDS is a terrible disease, I am really so frigging sick and tired of the fact that it seems to be the ONLY disease on which our current government is concentrating.

There ARE other diseases that are affecting people daily that are NOT caused by an inability to keep ones legs closed or zippers zipped!

Cancer is but one of those diseases that is not getting even an iota of the same type of commitment from government, specifically childhood cancer!

I noted withabsolute horror the recent statement from the Minister of Health regarding providing flavoured condoms because the current government-provided free condoms were being shunned in favour of brands sold at chemists, supermarkets etc.

FLAVOURED CONDOMS? Are you KIDDING me? How about teaching morals; how about teaching abstinence; how about providing condoms that don't break so often so that people have confidence in them?

The Minister of Health is worried about flavoured condoms while time and again the hospitals in Gauteng run out of crucial, life-saving cancer drugs??? The Minister of Health is worried about flavoured condoms while innocent children are dying daily of cancer...

FLAVOURED CONDOMS? Since when does the vagina have tastebuds? How many women are contracting HIV/AIDS because of RAPE? How the hell are flavoured condoms going to prevent HIV/AIDS??? Once again, try teaching morals and RESPECT!

CHILDHOOD CANCER is something very near and dear to me as I am a Survivor myself, and I support and do advocacy for a charity called Little Fighters Cancer Trust that helps ALL children with cancer and their families, nationally - WITH NO GOVERNMENT SUPPORT!!!

Every day brings new stories of Little Fighters who have been diagnosed with cancer, those who overcome it and those who lose the battle and earn their angel wings too soon. Last week it was a BABY of only 1year 9months old!! Yet government does NOTHING!!

Every day tears are shed and smiles are shared with the Little Fighter's families. My heart breaks with every new case, with the sight of what cancer does to these little bodies, hearing about parents that spend months at the hospital to be with their children. Parents have to give up work, businesses are lost, and families are torn apart with the stress and the financial burden that comes with cancer. Yet government does NOTHING!!

Approximately 2 500 children develop cancer in South Africa every year, but less than 1/3 (730 children) are actually correctly diagnosed and treated. If detected early, most children can be treated successfully, but many children go untreated because they are just never diagnosed because of the lack of awareness.

Too few people know the symptoms of childhood cancer, and this includes health care workers. Health care professionals at every level, from the clinics, referral hospital, general practitioners and even specialists lack the skills and education to diagnose cancer quickly and accurately. Yet government does NOTHING!!

Added to this, are the myths surrounding childhood cancer; children do not get cancer, and if they do, it is only white children that will suffer from the disease. Yet government does NOTHING!!

This often results in months of misdiagnosis before the actual cancer is identified and treated. This delay in diagnosis leads to life-saving treatment being delayed... often for too long. in many cases, when diagnosis is eventually made, it is too late to offer the patient treatment options, resulting in an EXTREMELY high childhood cancer mortality rate. Yet government does NOTHING!!

The survival rate for children with cancer in developed countries can be as high as 80-90%. South Africa's dismal successful treatment rate is an appalling 10-20%. Yet government does NOTHING!!

Oh sorry, government DID launch the national campaign to vaccinate all grade four girls older than 9yrs old against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). WHY? I WONDER if it had anything to do with the  Treatment Action Campaign's (TAC) "People’s Health Manifesto" launched in March?

"Cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer among South African women and is six times as likely to develop in HIV-positive women, according to international research. For the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), addressing cervical cancer is high on its agenda in the run-up to elections."

HPV is a common virus spread mostly by sexual contact. Most infections will disappear, but certain HPV strains can lead to cancers of the mouth, throat, cervix, and the penis.

The most common childhood cancer in South Africa is leukaemia (cancer of the blood), followed by brain tumours, lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) and nephroblastoma (cancer of the kidney).

NOW do you understand why I am sick and tired of hearing about HIV/AIDS???

I am sick and tired of hearing about or reading about HIV/AIDS every time I look at a newspaper, online paper, or television.

I am devastated at the fact that innocent children are dying needlessly every day from diseases that ARE curable - Yet government does NOTHING!!! I am sick at heart from reading or hearing about the pain that these Little Fighters go through -Yet government does NOTHING!! I am heartsore about the pain that parents go through!

It is about time that the Health Department starts paying attention to Childhood Cancer too!!!

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