Date: 28th August 2019
The Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society (SCCS) has sponsored RM50,000 worth of upgrading works at the Paediatric Ward 2A, Sarawak General Hospital. Significant upgrading works were carried out from May to June earlier this year at the playroom, resting lounge, doctor’s consultation room, and day care section of the ward.
By upgrading the playroom, SCCS hopes to provide a nurturing and safe space for children’s activities, sharing and counseling sessions, and a space for administrative work for SCCS’s support staff based at the ward. In addition, SCCS hopes to provide a comfortable environment for patients and caregivers, to relax, eat and rest, while waiting for their appointments.
The doctor’s consultation room was upgraded to create a comfortable environment for doctors to provide consultations to caregivers and patients, whilst the day care section received a new customized cabinet to properly store medical consumables used at the daycare.
This is one of the two upgrading projects sponsored by the Society this year. Another upgrading project is currently being carried out, to upgrade the isolation room at the paediatric ward in Sibu General Hospital. The project costs approximately RM 40,000 and is estimated to be ready by the end of the third quarter of this year.
SCCS prioritizes helping patients to complete their medical treatment provided by the government hospital in Sarawak, where many of these families fall into the middle to low-income group. To do so, the Society provides financial aid, transportation subsidies and also medical aid (upon recommendation by the medical doctors) to lighten the financial burden faced by the families. Up to July this year, the society has spent more than RM200,000 on the donation of medical consumables, aids and financial subsidies alone.
To provide the best support, SCCS works closely with the medical teams at the various government hospitals. Currently, there are two SCCS support staff based at the Paediatric Ward 2A to provide emotional support, financial assessment, and to carry out various recreational activities such as volunteering, arts and crafts, monthly birthday celebration, exercise sessions for caregivers, sharing sessions, and festivities celebration to bring joy to the kids at the ward.
Entering its 18th year of operations this year, SCCS is happy to see the growing numbers of survivors. However, despite the dramatic progress in the development of curative therapy, research has also demonstrated that this therapy responsible for their survival can also produce adverse long term side effects. Research has demonstrated that among adults treated for cancer during childhood, 60-90% may develop one or more chronic health conditions. These include learning problems, abnormal bone growth, hearing loss, vision, heart problems and fertility issues, and increased risk of future cancers.
Over the past 2 years, SCCS has begun to look into survivorship issues. This year, in collaboration with the medical staff, the Society has developed a survivorship passport to educate long term survivors to better understand their own health conditions, and what to look out for. The Society is also in the midst of building a survivor’s network for advocacy and peer support.
Led by a committee made up of 70% parents and 30% volunteers, with a staff team of 10, SCCS has served more than 1,300 families to date and continues to serve approximately 150 families yearly.
In Sarawak, 60 -70 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed each year and an estimated cost RM1.5million per year is needed by the society to fund its services, ranging from emotional and financial support, a halfway home in Kuching and Miri with full provision of amenities and shuttle service, recreational and educational activities.
Members of the public who would like to support the cause, can sign up for the SCCS’s Heart of Gold recurring donation program. Donations can be made monthly or quarterly with a minimum contribution of RM 30 per month. More information can be found on www.sccs.org.my or by contacting their office at 082-686276.
Assistant Manager – Events and Marketing
Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society
Tel: 016 5898 062