Government dismisses concerns
The Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri has dismissed concerns from the Samoa Cancer Society over the government’s support for the establishment of Hope 4 Cancer.
Asked for a comment, Leausa said the arrival of the Group would benefit Samoa as they will offer another choice for people in terms of treatment. He explained that most patients who are terminally ill with cancer want some kind of relief for their pain.
“There are people who would rather die than to endure the pain,” said Leausa.
“From my own point of view, Hope for Cancer is another option for terminal patients. They have the option of trying these herbs as it might give them some relief.
“It’s like shopping for treatment where there is Hope 4 Cancer on this side and conventional treatment on the other.”
Last month, the Samoa Cancer Society (S.C.S) had publicly voiced concerns about the Hope 4 Cancer group. S.C.S. Executive Officer, Shelley Burich, said it would be wrong for patients to be denied the option of going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“What we want to say to the government is if they want to offer alternative treatment, then it’s okay. But don’t do away the Overseas Medical Treatment (O.V.T.),” she said.
“They won’t be doing chemo or radio. With the supplements they will be using I don’t know about that. We don’t know what is in it.
“So what we are pushing to the government is it’s wrong not to give that option of radio and chemo because not everyone would want to go the alternative way.” However, the Director General said the government would never get rid of the scheme.
“There are cancers that it (conventional treatment) works well on and there are other cancers that are terminal,” said Leausa.
“This is why this Hope 4 Cancer is an alternative. I don’t think the hospital will recommend patients to go straight there…they will make referrals overseas depending on their condition but if they are terminal at least there is Hope 4 Cancer that gives an alternative.”
Leausa added that any herbs or treatment given by the Hope 4 Cancer would need to be cleared by the Ministry of Health before they can be used.