FIRST Lady Esther Lungu yesterday struggled to hold back her tears as she listened to Cancer Diseases Hospital acting senior medical superintendent Susan Msadabwe Chikuni narrate the challenges her patients and the facility face daily. This was when Esther donated various items on behalf of the Zambia Association of Manufacturers. She said there was no joy in being in a hospital. Quoting the Bible, Esther said while on earth Jesus Christ spent most of His time in the presence of the sick, healing and comforting those that were experiencing various illnesses.
“What an occasion, at some point it makes me feel like crying but I strengthen myself. There is nothing I hate like hearing of people suffering…you put yourself in their boots but we are meant to accept such situations and we are people who should provide a solution to them,” Esther said.
“My brothers and sisters, there is very little joy in the hospital room, and there is little joy experienced by those sitting at the bedside of the sick. I am happy that we are here today not to be served but to serve and give those that need our help the most,” said Esther. “One of the unexpected benefits of visiting the sick is that we are also reminded of the fact that we too are prone to disease and therefore we are potential patients. While it is a duty of all Christians to visit the sick, it is especially the responsibility of those who have been blessed much to fulfil our Lord’s call for us to care for those with illness. The Zambia Association of Manufacturers has demonstrated commitment to support the most vulnerable in society. May the good lord give us grace to embark on this work willingly and joyfully knowing that our God has called us to do so.”
Earlier, Chikuni said the hospital was currently seeing about 2,500 new cancer cases every year. She said to date, the hospital had seen more than 20,000 new cancer cases and from that number cervical cancer was a serious burden.
“From the cases that we see, 35 per cent are cervical cancer, followed by Kaposis Sarcoma which is about nine per cent and then prostate cancer, about eight per cent and then breast cancer at seven per cent of all the cancer cases that we see. Cervical cancer is a huge burden in Zambia and this is something that we can prevent. Of the children cancers, we see about 50 new children here with cancer and the most common is the cancer of the kidney and muscle tissue,” said Chikuni.
ZAM president Roseta Chabala said the donation Esther was presenting was worth K60,000.00.