The CANSA TLC Polokwane Paediatric Oncology Ward is situated at the Pietersburg Provincial Hospital in the province of Limpopo and offers in-house accommodation to parents, guardians and caregivers of children, undergoing cancer treatment, in the ward. Children are admitted to the hospital and placed in this ward, which provides high level care for them.
The facility has 33 beds for children in 3 large wards and 6 isolation rooms. Mothers are allowed to sleep in the ward to support their children. The space also provides consulting rooms for a Paediatric Oncologist. Since opening, the facility has expanded to include a school classroom, library and out-patient facility.
The ward caters mainly for children from the Limpopo province and neighbouring countries. Per month the ward caters for 60+ children and 50+ mothers.
Although meals are supplied by the hospital, supplies run short and we need to contribute and also cater for special needs and nausea. A fully equipped kitchen helps to address these needs.
Community involvement is high with blankets, clothes, knitted items, groceries, fruit, yogurt and toiletries being donated on a regular basis. Donated items also allow for fun activities and can be used towards parties and crafts, ensuring improved morale in the Ward. Volunteers offer time and demonstrate their skill in martial arts, puppet shows, dance therapy to mention but a few of the wonderful options offered to us.
To make things easier for families, SASSA visits the Ward to address the needs of the families in the unit.
As the Ward faces daily challenges, we need volunteers and sponsors to assist us every day. It is our aim to offer toiletries, clothing, food, transport and to assist with other needs as they arise.
- 33 beds for children in 3 large wards
- 6 isolation rooms
- Beds for mothers in the ward
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Laundry facilities
- Play area
- One on one time per patient daily
- Individual counselling as required
- Bereavement counselling (and follow up calls are made to offer support to those who have lost a child)
- Two support groups per week
- Thursday troubleshooting discussion
- Information sessions (cancer warning signs and symptoms, dietary information and education, pain and symptom control and ‘end of life’ care)
- Qualified volunteer educators teach children two to three times a week, and also offers crafts (150+ activities per month). A classroom has been made available for this purpose and a library.
- Skills development
- Parents are reminded to bring their children for appointments, should they miss meetings or check-ups. Records are kept of each child, thus assisting the medical staff and social workers assisting the children
- Prosthetic support
- Pain control
- Care packs / food parcels are sent home with each child and parent
- Out-patient facility
Elizabeth Madindiri (her 3 yr old daughter diagnosed with Retinoblastoma) says, ” I am grateful to be here at the CANSA TLC Ward, during this stressful time. My husband and family were very stressed when we had to come to the hospital, but after we had everything explained to us, we both feel that CANSA TLC is really trying to help, not only with our needs but also in reducing the stress we are both carrying. I am grateful for the care packs and food items that I have been given.”
Martin Mphaphuli (15 yr old whose leg was amputated due to Osteosarcoma) says: “Now that I am in the CANSA TLC Ward I can see that there are changes happening to my health and this gives me hope. Here at the ward there is a good spirit and it helps me feel I am getting better and am able to do more for myself.”
Please contact Sam tel: 015-297 1268 (office hours) or 076 817 5682 (emergencies).
About CANSA’s TLC Polokwane Paediatric Oncology Ward
As part of its 80th year celebration and commitment to providing support and care for children and families affected by cancer, CANSA opened a Tough Living with Cancer (TLC) Paediatric Oncology Ward at the Pietersburg Provincial Hospital in Polokwane on Friday, 1st June 2012.
The aim was to increase support to children and families affected by cancer in Limpopo. The Limpopo area stretches from Bela Bela in the south to Mussina in the north, Lepalale in the west to Venda in the east. Due to the large geographical area served, the children staying at the ward come from diverse cultures and speak different languages. The Ward also treats children from neighbouring countries which offers additional language barriers and challenges.
The facility was renovated to improve the care for cancer children receiving treatment and provide accommodation for parents. Prior to renovations the building was filled with rubble and the bathrooms were not fit for use. Window frames were rotten and wall panels and pipes rusted. The roof leaked all over and the playground was filled with rubble and thorns.
Vera van Dalen, CANSA TLC National Co-ordinator, and her team, with the help of sponsors: Industrial Development Corporation, Chemserve, Steiner, Defy, Kirsty Watts Foundation, Rainbows and Smiles, Southern Sun, Gift of the Givers, Hoërskool Helderkruin, and individual supporters managed to transform the building and turn it into a cosy environment for children who are undergoing treatment for cancer.
Prior to Renovations:
CANSA’s TLC Programme
Learn more about CANSA’s Tough Living with Cancer (TLC) programme…
Parents, families, and guardians can also join our Facebook Support Group: CANSA TLC – Childhood Cancer Support, to connect with others in a similar position.
Says Portia Masango, whose son was diagnosed with cancer: “Today marks exactly one year since my then 5 year old was diagnosed with cancer. I can still see Dr Khoza’s face when she said, ‘I’m afraid I’m gonna have to admit Tshegofatso, I need a CT scan done on him tomorrow, cos I suspect he has cancer.’
We were in Mankweng, a strange place, with no one we know around. The reality of it all never really hit me until we got transfered to Steve biko Academic. Then I got to understand what having a child with cancer means. Chemo, the nausea, loss of appetite, losing weight, being weak, sometimes feeling so helpless, feeling like just screaming. Being anxious, asking yourself: is he going to make it? The hope I had after completing the chemo cycles, only to do the CT scan and learn that the tumor was still there! Yet somehow having the strength to still go on.
Today, a year later, I’m grateful for every thing thus far: being able to attend school without major problems, just the occasional bleeding here and there, his glowing face despite chemo, still being able to play, slowly gaining back the weight, and the support from the CANSA TLC Childhood Cancer Facebook Support Group. It’s much easier when you talk to people who really understand what your talking about!”
Be a Gift to a Child in Need:
Please consider making a donation towards supporting our TLC programme so that we can help more children and families. Donations will assist with the provision of prosthetic support (children who have lost an eye or limb); the provision of wheelchairs; pain control implants and medical equipment. Food, clothing and toiletry donations are always welcome…