RB: Selfless till the end
Published On March 16, 2022 » 8379 Views» By Times Reporter » Opinion
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. Banda

WHILE many people continue to share fond memories of their experience with late former President Rupiah Banda, who died last week, it is clear that in all the tributes, what stands out is the fact that much-loved leader was selfless in every aspect of his life.
Every interaction with others was calculated to enrich everyone he came into contact with regardless of their status in society.
The sentiments were the same, be it from heads of States, government officials, his staff or simply friends and those who only had a single encounter with.
That he was genuinely concerned for people and wanted to see them succeed at whatever they sought to achieve.
Even in his revelation to the nation two years ago about his battle with cancer, Mr Banda was not only thinking of himself or to elicit sympathy over his condition.
On the contrary, it was to bring attention to his condition and further encourage others who could have been in similar conditions.
After that, there were many other prominent and not-so-prominent individuals that showed solidarity with the former Head of State because they were going through some form of cancer treatment themselves.
This also brought out the fact that the country still had a long way in investing in cancer treatment as well as ensuring affordable drugs for all classes of society.
It is no wonder therefore that former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, it eulogising Mr Banda, has called more measures to enhance cancer testing and treatment in order to reduce the prevalence of the disease.
Dr Mwanawasa, who is Breakthrough Cancer Trust patron, pointed out that among other issues that required attention in the fight against cancer was sensitisation on cancer diagnosis and treatment.
She called on women and men to make cancer treatment routine in order to lessen the intensity of the disease when found with it.
The former First Lady insisted that a lot more funding was required to the area of cancer treatment.
A sticking point for most people seeking cancer treatment is the fact that most insurance companies do not cover this in their insurance policies and so patients are forced to source funding elsewhere.
Dr Mwanawasa is of the view that insurance companies must be compelled to cover cancer in its insurance policies.
Anyone who has experienced cancer treatment or has had an ailing loved one anyone, will testify to the stress of trying to afford cancer medication and treatment.
The cancer hospital in Lusaka may be in operation and caters for thousands of people, it still is not sufficient to provide all services without requiring further investment to increase its capacity.
In highlighting his cancer plight, Mr Banda obviously touched many and in doing so, expected that the nation would rise to support government efforts in ensuring that many other citizens were assisted in seeking screening and treatment for cancer.
He indeed showed selflessness and passion for the wellbeing of the nation.

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