4th February is World Cancer Day. To highlight the day, our colleague Tony Gaston has given a first-hand account of the impact cancer can have on a family in one of the poorest countries in the world, and how EMMS International aims to help.
“Seeing someone you love in extreme pain is never easy, wishing you could do something, anything, to help ease their suffering.
I remember meeting the son of one 70-year-old lady with breast cancer in a small mission hospital in rural Malawi. I looked at his helplessness as his mum would scream out in pain, pacing up and down the aisles of the hospital, asking for someone to help her die in order to ease her suffering.
Thankfully, in the UK we have relatively easy access to pain relief. However, for so many people living with cancer in the developing world, having limited access to pain relief such as morphine is a stark reality, leaving an estimated 4 million people with cancer without adequate pain relief. How, in an age of such incredible medical advances and amazing treatments available, can we have so many people without any basic pain relief?
It is estimated that only a few million pounds would be needed to ensure that everyone in the world has access to pain relief. At EMMS International, we are focused on making sure that people living in some of the poorest places in the world can have access to love, care, dignity and pain relief. It is humbling to know that it only costs £32 to give someone living in Malawi access to a month’s pain relief. It is hard to comprehend that we can ease the suffering of someone who has already experienced such a hard life for such a small amount.”
This World Cancer Day, we encourage you to help us ensure that people suffering from cancer receive the love and care they need.