Halfway house for cancer patients

KUCHING: National Cancer Council Malaysia (Makna) yesterday launched its fifth halfway house at Jalan Kapor here, aimed at providing temporary accommodation for cancer patients seeking treatment at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH). This is the second launch in East Malaysia after Likas, Sabah in 2018, following three others located in Johor Bahru, Penang and Kelantan.

It hopes to alleviate the burden of those undergoing frequent radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments or check-up appointments as they can be physically unfit to travel back and forth between home and hospital, especially those coming from outside Kuching.

Makna general manager Farahida Mohd Farid stated, “We hope by providing this requisite facility, cancer patients from all parts of Sarawak can take this opportunity to complete their treatment without having to worry about travelling cost.

Farahida (left) and Dr Norinawaty (second right) launching the Makna halfway house while Hamzah (right) looks on.

“Through our observation, patients travel far especially from the most interior parts of the region. They have difficulties to incur travel costs including accommodations costs to take a trip to the hospital. “We hope with such facilities, it will ease their treatment course without any interruption,” she told reporters after touring the house yesterday.

Also present were SGH deputy director Dr Norinawaty Abg Daud and head of Medical Social Work Department Hamzah Bolhan. Designed to ensure patients experience a cheerful and calming stay, the halfway house is equipped with basic home facilities and kitchen supplies. The halfway house also comes with 10 comfortable single beds, internet access, as well as free transportation ride to and from the hospital.

Makna expects to open four more halfway houses to facilitate many more cancer patients needing such facility around Malaysia. Makna is a non-profit social enterprise incepted in 1994 and was officially launched in 1995.

It was founded by Datuk Mohd Farid Ariffin who was inspired by his own son’s fight and struggles with cancer.

In providing comprehensive, multi-faceted services, Makna prides itself as a homegrown organisation that continues to play an important role helping cancer patients, regardless of background, race, creed, colour and station. For any enquiries or further information, please contact Makna at 03-2162 9178.