Two studies into high incidence of leukaemia in metro

getimage (13)Two studies are taking place in Nelson Mandela Bay to find out why the Eastern Cape has an unusually high incidence of leukaemia.

The coordinator of the Leukaemia Incidence Study Igazi and NMMU (Lisin) project, Sue Hoffmann, said yesterday that Dr Diana Oelofse from the National Health Laboratory Service was studying haematological and lymphoid cancers in the Eastern Cape.

She is in the final phase of gathering statistics.

Hoffmann said the NMMU environmental health department, in collaboration with the Medical Research Council, was preparing a research proposal for a similar project.

In Oelofse’s study, the metro was divided into different zones to find out the incidence of cancer, specifically leukaemia, in each zone.

The NMMU researchers were also going door to door to gather data for the study.

Apart from Oelofse, other members of the Lisin project are San-Marie Woithe, a geohydrologist from VSA Leboa Consulting, Dr Ilse Asquith, owner of Riskchem, a health and safety and chemical management and safety training company.

From NMMU’s side, Cheryl Swanepoel from the epidemiology department of environmental health and social development is a project member as is Willem Michau, from the environmental health and food hygiene department, and Mariaan Buckle, from the biomedical technology and radiography department.

Hoffmann said there was also a project under way to test groundwater from private boreholes.

– Estelle Ellis

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