CapeNature donates 3000 sanitary towels to Tygerberg Hospital female cancer patients
August is designated as Women’s Month in South Africa. It is perhaps appropriate then that CapeNature was able to provide assistance to the female patients at the gynaecological oncology ward of the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town by handing over 3000 sanitary towels.
Having started the initiative in June, CapeNature partnered with Old Mutual, local organisations, The Edge Restaurant in Stony Point, Mooi Uitsig Trust and the Lamberts Bay community to support patients receiving treatment for cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulva cancer at the Tygerberg Hospital, by providing them with the practical means to manage their recovery with dignity.
Professor Hannah Simonds, Head of the Oncology Divison at Tygerberg Hospital, stressed the importance of cervical cancer awareness.
“It’s very important that people are aware that cervical cancer is one of the main cancers in women between the ages of 25 and 55 in this country. More so than breast cancer, and its easily preventable disease if people access screening at an appropriate time” she said.
One of the primary symptoms that patients with cervical, ovarian, uterine, vulva and vaginal cancer experience, is bleeding.
Professor Simonds adds, “Patients that come from very poor backgrounds have no financial means to afford these very expensive things and the fact that we can provide to them now as a gift, gives them back dignity, which is what’s really important to me.”
Radiation Oncology Assistant Director, Kulthum Ismail identified the dire need and issued a plea for help on social media.
“I saw patients walking and dripping and I asked what was happening and they said they don’t have sanitary towels they’re using newspapers,” Ismail said.
CapeNature took heed of the appeal and decided to step in. CapeNature CEO Dr Razeena Omar said:
“This is such an exemplary campaign for the most vulnerable women that we have around us. Many women coming from areas around our reserves come to Tygerberg Hospital for treatment and we heard how vulnerable these women are in terms of the severity of cancer, cervical cancer and breast cancer.”
Dr Omar adds, “Now just looking at cervical cancer we do know that women need sanitary towels, this was a very rewarding project to be involved with at the commencement of Woman’s Month.”
Ismail thanked CapeNature and said the female patients will no longer be receiving one or two sanitary towels from packets but, a whole packet to take home.
“You may not understand that some people may think it’s just sanitary towels, but for the patients it helps them retain some dignity and they don’t have to feel embarrassed,”
“They feel comforted and cared for, so thank you to CapeNature and the Lambertsbay community.”