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Residents unite with SDCEA for annual cancer walk

Community members, young and old, came out in their numbers donned in bright pink t-shirts and masks to raise awareness on the silent disease that has increasingly infiltrated their community over the years.

THE South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) hosted its annual cancer walk on Wednesday, 21 October in Wentworth.

Youngsters, pictured with SDCEA coordinator, Desmond D’sa, donned in bright pink masks and joined the movement to raise awareness on the silent disease that has increasingly infiltrated their community over the years.

Community members, young and old, came out in their numbers donned in bright pink t-shirts and masks to raise awareness on the silent disease that has increasingly infiltrated their community over the years.

The group embarked on a peaceful walk from Badulla Grounds to Highbury Grounds. In keeping with its awareness, the environmental alliance created a growing community cancer surveillance campaign, also known as the Cancer Registry which began in 2017.

Umlazi community members Nkanyiso Hadebe, Nonhlanhla Ngcobo and Skhumbuzo Magwaza came out to join the good cause.

“As of February this year the Cancer Registry consists of 159 patients, with 53 per cent of our database consisting of women, and with lung cancer being the most common form of cancer on our database. The aim behind the cancer registry is to document all those living (and deceased) with cancer in the South Durban area and create awareness around the links between poor air quality and the prevalence of harmful illnesses such as cancer and asthma.

“Countless years of being exposed to air pollution have caused great health impacts on the South Durban community, which suffers from respiratory illness, asthma, cancer and leukaemia. The SDCEA still continues to campaign for a fully operational 24-hour clinic for those who are being affected by respiratory illnesses and cancer.

SDCEA air quality officer Bongani Mthembu sheds light on the impact of the petrol-chemical industry on health.

“Many of our family members have been affected and have had to bear the medical cost of such illnesses. There are no benefits from the toxic air pollution. Our action is to raise awareness of the scourge of cancer and asthma prevalent in our communities directly or indirectly linked to the petro-chemical or chemical industries. We thank those who joined the walk in honour of our loved ones who have died and continue to suffer from this dreadful disease,” said SDCEA communications officer, Joanne Groom.  

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