’Maesaia punches against cancer

’Maesaia punches against cancer

MASERU – THE founder of the Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA), Princess Nikky Naleli Onyeri, has warned the First Lady ’Maesaia Thabane to steer clear of controversy. Princess Nikky, who is from Nigeria, was speaking at the SCCA conference in Maseru on Monday. ’Maesaia was appointed the new chairperson of the African First Ladies/Spouses.
“If you will be involved in any scandal, the position will be taken away,” Princess Nikky said.

She also urged the First Lady ’Maesaia to work hard in seeking support from eminent people and organisations throughout Africa and beyond in the fight against cancer.
Princess Nikky’s warning came at a time when the First Lady has been mired in her own scandals.
The First Lady is accused of assaulting and insulting a visitor and staff at Maseru Private Hospital where she had gone to see a patient who had been knocked down by her car last week.
The scandal spread like wildfire and the All Basotho Convention (ABC) secretary general, Water Affairs Minister Samonyane Ntsekele, had to go to the hospital to render an apology on behalf of the government and the party.

She has also been subpoenaed to testify in a habeas corpus case in the High Court after her employee, ’Makarabo Mojakhomo, disappeared at a police station in Maseru.
Mojakhomo’s family wants the police to present their daughter dead or alive.
In her acceptance speech, the First Lady said she accepted the challenge to lead the movement in the fight against cancer in all its forms in Africa.
She said the rate of cancer patients seems to be growing all the time.

‘‘I note that the situation of cancer in our country is rapidly increasing,’’ the First Lady said.
She said there is a lack of awareness of the disease among Basotho.
‘‘We have embarked on mobilisation campaigns to increase awareness, build health care capacity to mobilise funds, strengthen current and future interventions aimed at defeating cancer,’’ she said.

‘‘We have already made progress in many areas in the fight against cancer – the Radiation Protection Bill has been tabled in Parliament for approval so that it becomes law.’’
She said the design for the building of a cancer facility has been completed and efforts to strengthen and build human resources to operate in the centre have begun.
She said these achievements will enable them to have strong abilities to work with international partners.

‘‘The absence of a cancer centre forces us to refer patients to Bloemfontein, South Africa, at a very high cost for their well-being and at the expense of the economy of Lesotho,’’ she said.
‘‘In my new capacity, I will work tirelessly to ensure that we increase knowledge, improve services, establish and equip the cancer centre and provide better care for Basotho.’’
‘‘I will also make efforts to increase public awareness, advocacy and public education. I will encourage our nations to screen for cancer and to mobilise resources.’’
She pledged to work closely with her fellow First Ladies, the Forum of Parliamentarians, Women Caucuses and any other local and international partners to fight cancer.

’Mapule Motsopa

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