First Lady’s High Tea

The Prime Minister’s Wife and PNG Cancer Foundation Ambassador, Lynda Baboa, has called for more awareness of early detection of cancer, in Papua New Guinea.

She said this during the First Lady’s High Tea, held to gain corporate support and assistance in the Foundation’s programs.


The objective of this year’s campaign is mouth cancer awareness, which is the second most common cancer in PNG, amounting to 15% of malignant cancer hospital admissions. In an emotional speech, Ms. Baboa, described the effects of cancer, and what people can do to combat this insidious disease.

Ms. Baboa said cancer statistics continue to rise, yet the rural society of PNG is unaware of it. She said that cancer has a wide misconception in PNG, that when people in rural areas die from it, it’s commonly attributed to black magic, or in tok pisin, ‘purpur’. 

She also said that detrimental social habits like excessive buai-chewing; smoking and alcohol consumption were key elements in cancer-related diseases. Ms Baboa highlighted that awareness is the first solution to address cancer in PNG.


Chairlady of the PNG Cancer Foundation, Dr Lynda Sirigoi, said cancer is a chronic disease, therefore it allows for chronic burdens as well. She further stated that cancer victims are not the only sufferers, but their families and relatives also get consumed by the disease.


The PNG Cancer Foundation can only do so much, but essentially, the core unit that needs to be addressed is data collection.


A Cancer Registry in PNG is required to efficiently treat cancer patients. At present, we don’t have one, so it only makes sense to acquire credible information, in order to make a real impact in the area of cancer treatment.


However, The National Health Service Standards, under the Health Department, has produced a Cancer Care Policy, and PNG should expect to see its implementation by the end of this year. The PNG Cancer Foundation First Lady’s High Tea was sponsored by BNG trading.

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