May 23, 2022

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The World Health Organization stresses the importance of the One Health approach

Cancer patients in Paraguay renew their call for state aid

Many affected by the disease request specialized drugs, but refuse, despite the legal protections applied in their defence, the Cancer Patients Association denounced.

“I have colleagues who ask me about their medication every day and when I tell them there’s no news yet, they break down in tears,” Joanna Moreno, the general secretary of that charity, was quoted as saying by ABC Color.

The treatment of these patients is slowed down by the lack of adequate medicines and this affects them emotionally, while their relatives do not know what to do or whom to turn to, and many of them die waiting for a solution.

According to Moreno, the local judicial system has issued about 50 judicial protection rulings ordering the Ministry of Health to provide medicines to these patients, with no one responding to any of them yet.

Specialists insist that this sad situation, in addition to delaying or preventing treatment and chances of survival, is deteriorating the mental health of patients, both women and men, and harms their quality of life.

The Cancer Patients Association claims, even, a shortage of drugs on the primary list to treat this condition, such as enzalutamide and dacarbazine.

Moreno emphasized that it is unacceptable to continue this struggle without a response to human rights such as health and life, and emphasized that patients are already talking about possible force measures, such as taking to the streets to demand drugs.

Other cancer patients on March 17 denounced before the executive branch the lack of drugs and other supplies to treat their disease in public facilities, as they suffered from inadequate treatment for a long time.

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The authorities and specialists of the National Cancer Institute resort to private laboratories to conduct certain studies, due to the lack of reagents for investigations directed by specialists.

Moreno adds that other barriers to the disease are the high costs of ensuring effective treatment, which is why patients often go to public health authorities.

According to media outlets such as ABC Color, some patients buy drugs with their own resources so as not to leave health care centers, where those who cannot pay are “rescheduled” for 15 or 20 days.

Patients have also staged some peaceful protests to demand the provision of medicines to continue their treatment, despite the authorities asserting that this is a “priority”.

jcm / apb