March 20, 2023

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Paraguay cancer patients reiterate call for government help

Many sufferers of this disease demand specialized drugs, but they are denied, despite the legal protections put in place to protect them, the Cancer Patients Association condemned.

“I have colleagues who ask me every day about their medication, and if I tell them there is no news yet, they shed tears,” lamented Juana Moreno, general secretary of the charity, quoted by the ABC Color newspaper.

The recovery of these patients is slowed by a lack of adequate medication, which affects them emotionally, while their relatives do not know what to do, to whom to turn, and many are waiting for a solution.

According to Moreno, the local justice system has issued about 50 judicial defense judgments, directing the health ministry to provide medication to these patients, and so far none of them have responded.

Experts emphasize that this tragic situation, in addition to delaying or preventing treatment and the chances of survival, worsens the mental health of sick women and men and affects their quality of life.

Even the Cancer Patients’ Association blames the lack of drugs on the basic list for the treatment of this syndrome, such as enzulfamide and dacarbazine.

Moreno vowed that it would be unacceptable to continue this struggle without a response to human rights issues such as health and life, and that patients were already talking about possible measures such as taking to the streets to demand drugs.

Other cancer patients before the administration on March 17 condemned the lack of drugs and other substances to treat their disease, where they have been in public facilities for a long time without adequate treatment.

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Officials and experts at the National Cancer Institute are seeking private laboratories for some research because there have been no reactions to expert-led investigations.

Other barriers to combating the disease, Moreno says, are the high costs of guaranteeing effective treatments, which is why patients often go to public health officials.

According to media outlets such as ABC Color, some patients purchase medications with their own resources so they cannot leave health centers where those who cannot afford to pay will be “rescheduled” for 15 or 20 days.

Patients are also waging some peaceful struggles demanding medication to continue their treatment, although officials promise it is “one of their priorities”.

jcm / apb