Integrated cancer care a priority

The Adeje council’s departments of Health and of Social Welfare, with councillors Amada Trujillo Bencomo and Isabel Fernández González respectively, have signed an agreement renewing their commitment to the programme for “integrated care for oncology patients in Adeje”, in partnership with the Spanish cancer association, the AECC.

Both councillors said that the kind of services that the programme can offer are not part of the usual local authority services, so they sought the collaboration of the AECC to be able to provide this kind of assistance programme. Amada Trujillo Bencomo says that thanks to that commitment, “Adeje now has the necessary resources to offer help at psychological, social and health levels, both for those affected directly by cancer as well as their families. This assistance is available from the moment a diagnosis is received through treatment and operations, and, if the cancer leads to a patient death, assistance for the family is there if requested or required.

The programme is currently used by 122 persons in Adeje who are affected in some way, in particular those with reduced economic resources and who need specialised care and attention. The overall aim of the programme is to improve the health and quality of life of those affected by any type of cancer. The offices are based in the Adeje department of health, (C/Tinerfe el Grande 32, Edificio de usos multiples, 1º floor), Monday to Friday, 8am – 3pm.

Also present at the signing of the agreement were AECC provincial president Juan Julio Fernández Rodríguez, director Carlota Cobo Hernández and Maria Dolores Sebares, a member of the executive committee of the association.

The AECC is a non-profit making private organisation with offices and representatives all over Spain. It works to raise funds for investment in research and offers help to those living with and fighting cancer.

 

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Healthy lifestyle choices

Adeje’s part in the III Regional Workshop on health promotion

Recently Adeje took part in a regional workshop on health promotion, an initiative designed to help councils and cabildos work on an overall health strategy for the region as part of the national health programme.

At the event different councils presented prevention projects they are working on and the workshop also discussed how other international zones (Azores, Canarias, Cape Verde, Madeir ) work to combine promotion and prevention with public health services in an efficient and qualitative manner, improving the health and quality of life of the citizens.
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Adeje’s health councillor, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, said that although “Adeje has only been part of this forum since 2017, we have been committed to promoting healthier lifestyles in our local population for a lot longer, as an effective strategy for disease prevention….we work from a integrated perspective, and are presenting the projects we have undertaken to improve the health of our people”.

Among those strategies in place is better coordination of health resources locally and inter—sectoral education in the community. Here too there are projects helping educate the younger population about healthy choices, classes for pregnant women, and workshops for those older residents to aid them in maintaining a level of autonomy regardless of age.

At the meeting there was a call for the signing, as soon as possible, of a covenant between the department of health, the regional government and the councils to implement a national health promotion plan which would also tackle the need to reduce health-related waiting lists.

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Adeje’s stand against breast cancer

 

This morning, just before noon, a large group of Adeje council elected officials, staff and members of the public gathered together on the steps of the Town Hall to mark World Breast Cancer Day. The event was organised by the Adeje councillor for health, Amada Trujillo Bencomo in conjunction with the AECC, the Spanish cancer association. Later on this afternoon, at 6.30pm, there is a talk/workshop on oncological physiotherapy in the CDTCA (Costa Adeje Centre for Tourism Development).

The councillor said she was sending a message of support to all women and men who are currently fighting this cancer, and urged everyone to remember to have annual check-ups. “I want to remind people of the importance of regular check-ups in the prevention of breast cancer. This is a disease that we can fight before it advances, so early detection and prevention are vital”, she said.

The Adeje council offers a range of services to people with breast cancer and their families, and the department of health has been working to improve the integrated services for oncology patients in the borough. There is also an aquatic programme in the prevention of lymphatic obstruction and a free hospital transport service for patients who need treatment, offered in conjunction with the AECC and the Walk for Life foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Pink

 

The Pink Room/Sala Rosa celebrates three years in existence this month.  Inaugurated in October 2015 by the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and health councillor Amada Trujllo Bencomo, the Room was born from a need, identified by the Walk for Life foundation, for a space for sufferers of breast cancer and their families.

It offers a place to meet others, for information and help socially and professionally.  The Pink Room, having listened to many women’s issues post-mastectomy, also started the BRA project which now offers every single women here who has had breast removal surgery a custom-made special post-op bra, fabricated from non-abrasive material, fitted, closing in front, etc.

The Pink Room has also run yoga classes, pelvic floor sessions, workshops and talks post-op care, healthy eating, etc.  according to the Walk for Life president Brigitte Gypen.  She and councillor Trujillo Bencomo were in attendance at the 3rd anniversary celebrations alongside many of the users of the Room and their families.

A Swim for Life was held last weekend and the annual Walk for Life takes place in December. The Pink Room is in the Adeje ‘Escuela de Seguridad y Convivencia’, in La Nieves with activities every Wednesday from 4pm to 8pm.

 

 

Signing up for better services

The people of Adeje were given the chance to sign a petition in support of the work of the AECC, the Spanish cancer association, asking the regional government to increase funding for research into cancer. Two tables were set up by the Adeje department of health, under councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo, at the Town Hall and outside the Adeje health centre, coinciding with World Cancer Research Day.

The councillor commented on “the importance of the work being carried out to advance the scientific investigation in the fight against this illness”. She also emailed all of the council staff members to encourage them to sign the petition, and anyone can sign up online,
http://news.aecc.es/public/m/no-podemos-parar-de-investigar.

According to the AECC, “In 2030 the target is a 73% cancer survival rate – today in Spain it’s only 53%, which is why we have to, as a minimum, double the amount we are investing in cancer research in this country.”

 

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Mad dogs and Englishmen?

’Don’t Burn!’ is the message from the Spanish Cancer Association

This morning, July 24th, the Spanish Cancer Association, the AECC, had a stand in the Adeje Cultural Centre to talk to students and visitors about the need for proper protection from the sun, and were handing out leaflets with information on good practises for a healthy skin during the summer. The event was part of a wider campaign to alert people to the dangers of overexposure to the sun, especially during the summer months.

“We need to take care throughout the year and adopt healthy life-style habits, but during the summer with the good weather and more activities outdoors, we perhaps tend to leave precautions to one side – but these are nothing more than ensuring that we are properly hydrated, eating the right foods and using adequate sun protection, above all in the middle of the day”, commented the Adeje councillor for health, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, who is also a qualified paediatrician.

The information leaflets were available in English and in Spanish listing basic recommendations: drink water regularly, use sun creams with a high protection factor when you are out of doors, and apply that cream every two hours; use hats, parasols, or light t-shirts when you are exposed directly to the sun; don’t sunbathe between the hours of 12 midday and 4pm; avoid extended exposure to the sun;use sunglasses to protect your eyes.

 

 

 

 

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It’s a beach, not a rubbish dump!

Community unity in Callao Salvaje beach clean-up

In preparation for the summer months there was a community clean-up of the Ajabo beach in Callao Salvaje. The Adeje council supplied gloves, bags, a large skip/container and water for those taking part. To facilitate the effort the council also sent down a team of operators to clear large stones and smooth out the beach zone. The beach is very popular among residents and visitors.

The councillor for the zone, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, congratulated the local community for their initiative. “We are all here with our children and grandchildren to take part in their collective effort. I would also like to thank the team of divers (Paradise Divers) who have removed rubbish – including a carpet – from the sea bed.” She added , “It is very important that we all understand that care of the environment is something we all have to take responsibility for, and the best place to start is where we live”.

Among the rubbish removed from the beach and the sea were plastic, cables, iron bars, computer parts, a carpet, nails and screws and cigarette ends, material that isn’t biodegradable and therefore a source of contamination.

The councillor also noted that “we found more than 100 big rusty nails, which pose a health risk to people, and we would call upon everyone to remember please that the beach isn’t a rubbish dump, it’s somewhere we all want to be able to use and enjoy”.

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A break for cancer patients

The Atlantic Holiday Centre hotel is giving 12 cancer families a VIP holiday

The Atlantic Holiday Centre hotel in Callao Salvaje this week donated 12 week-long holidays to individuals from Adeje who have been fighting various cancers. The cancer sufferers are all under the care of Spanish cancer association and Adeje council socio-sanitary programme.

This week the 12 individuals, who are also dealing with on-going oncological treatments, with members of their family, were invited in to receive their vouchers from Adeje’s health councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo and the hotel director Charlotte Abildtrup. Their stay in the recently reformed hotel will be all inclusive.

The councillor commented, “last year we were delighted to be part of this new initiative which was hugely beneficial to the 10 individuals who were given holidays – people who are suffering not just from cancer, but from high levels of personal stress during the palliative process”. This year the hotel has increased the number of donated holidays to 12. The councillor underlined the importance of being able to enjoy their free-time in a qualitative way, which can also help in their recovery.

Charlotte Abildtrup, hotel director, said that “we are delighted to be able to help these people and their families, to offer them a chance to relax and take a break from the stress related to dealing with their cancer. We know that these people are fighters, that they have daily challenges to overcome, which is why, during these summer months, we will be delighted to welcome them here and hope they enjoy all the hotel has to offer”:

Councillor Bencomo added, “Gestures such as these go to show that solidarity has no limits or frontiers”.

The Hotel Atlantic Holiday Centre offers guests large apartments, fresh water and salt water pools, a children’s zone, tennis courts, a park, leisure zone, a gymnasium and restaurants not to mention first class service and personal attention.

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Free, confidential and anonymous – the rapid HIV test

 

The service, operated by Infosex has been running for a number of years, is free, confidential and anonymous

The Adeje council’s department of health has just launched a campaign to encourage people who fall into certain groups to take advantage of the rapid HIV testing available in the borough. “According to the health councillor, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, “we have been offering this service for a few years now through the Infosex service, in South Tenerife, in collaboration with the Canarian Health Service. Through the programme those interested in being tested can do so in a fast, confidential, free and anonymous way, with qualified personnel in attendance. We feel that perhaps there are people unaware of the service so wanted to launch this campaign to publicise it for the general public”.

Trujillo Bencomo added, “Our main objective is always the good health of the people of Adeje. Since 2014 we have been in partnership with the regional health service in offering HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease testing in non-clinical settings, offering early detection to ensure better health care”.

Infosex Adeje is based in the south of Tenerife with its main objective being to offer information regarding health and sexuality. They also carry rapid testing for HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis C. Infosex also, in collaboration with the Adeje Health Centre, offer the Hep A vaccine and work with the Asociación Cruz Blanca to reach vulnerable women who may be working in prostitution. The service is completely anonymous, confidential and free and can be accessed by anyone. The telephone number to call for an appointment for a rapid HIV test is 601701703.

In 2017 the Adeje department of health, with Infosex Adeje, carried out over 200 of the above mentioned tests and vaccinated over 150 people. The councillor is encouraging more people to take up the offer of the service to improve the lives and health of people in the area. “From today we are involved in a serious campaign to let people know about Infosex Adeje and the services on offer. We want to make people aware of the importance of early diagnosis in HIV/Aids cases and encourage people to take the rapid test, particularly those who are in groups more at risk of HIV, such men engaging in sexual activity with other men and transsexual women. The campaign will use all media, social platforms, posters, leaflets, etc.”

According to the National Plan in Aids, 30% of people living with Aids in Spain are still not aware that they are HIV positive, and furthermore the incidence of STIs continues to rise. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. They have a 90:90:90 strategy: By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy. By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression. Adeje councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo says, “the Adeje council is committed to allocating the human, material and economic resources necessary to work with this international body to make this happen”.

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Early detection is the key

Colon cancer detection campaign

This morning the Adeje department of health protection published details of a free colon cancer screening programme that is happening on April 5th and 6th. According to the local councillor for health, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, “we want to make the public aware of this cancer, one of the more common in our country, with over 34 thousand cases diagnosed annually, affecting men and women equally. It is really important to carry out occasional checks as this kind of cancer can grow with few obvious symptoms. A simple test of a stool sample can, however, prevent the evolution of the disease. If caught in time this cancer can be cured in 90% of cases”.

Hospiten Sur and the Spanish Cancer Association are spearheading the campaign offer free testing. All the public need to do is request an appointment (phone 922 750022) on either April 5th or 6th and turn up with a sample.

During the morning the Adeje council ran an information table on this form of cancer explaining how the test is carried out. It is particularly recommended for people over 50 years of age who are in a risk category and those who have a family history of this kind of cancer. Colonic cancer is the third most common in men, after prostrate and lung cancers, and second most common in women after breast cancer.

The most common symptoms that can signal the appearance of this cancer include changes in intestinal behaviour, unexplained weight loss, anaemia, abdominal pain among others. There are many different tests available, depending on the age and medical condition of the patient, however usually a stool sample is detected for traces of blood, and if positive a colonoscopy is ordered.

Prevention is helped through diet, foods rich in fibre and low in saturated fats and animal proteins. People should also drink 2 litres of water a day, avoid refined sugars, avoid smoking, drink in moderate amounts and eat their meals at regular hours. Daily exercise and get enough hours sleep every night is also recommended.

 

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