By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Namibians should focus their energy and mindset towards living a more healthy and productive lifestyle in order to prevent cancer. The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Petrina Haingura, said this when she officially launched Bank Windhoek’s 6th consecutive 2007 Cancer Apple Project in the capital last Friday. The main objective of the bank’s project is to drive home the message that “prevention is better than cure.” The theme for this year’s project is: “Eat Healthily. Live Healthily. Prevent Cancer.” ” I encourage all Namibians that they should boost their immune systems by exercising regularly, following a diet high in antioxidants and fibre, eating more fruit and vegetables and reducing your fat intake. Leading a healthier lifestyle will reduce your chances of getting cancer,” said Haingura. This time around Bank Windhoek, together with the Cancer Association of Namibia, would like to take this message even further by fostering in all Namibians a sense of responsibility towards their own health. Commending the efforts to address the plight of cancer sufferers in the country, Haingura said the Cancer Apple Project is yet another demonstration of how various key players in both public and private sectors can work together to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients in Namibia. It also drives home the message that prevention through healthy living is better then cure. With the purchase of an apple for N$2,00 each, learners and the general public alike receive a bookmark containing information on the warning signs of cancer, as well as tips on how to live healthy and prevent cancer. Haingura called on all women to consider the healthy option of making use of the Cancer Association of Namibia’s regular breast examinations and pap smears at the different centres. That way, early detection of cancer can prevent major health complications later on in life. Bank Windhoek became the main sponsor of the project since 2001. To date, it has raised more than N$2,3-million for the Cancer Association of Namibia. The bank’s managing director, James Hill, sees the Cancer Apple Project growing from strength to strength in raising the much-needed awareness about cancer in the country. “Although Namibia is a small country, Bank Windhoek, the Cancer Association, all our smart partners and every Namibian supporting the project are making a big difference and showing that together we can do better,” said Hill. During last year’s project, more than 680ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 apples were sold, resulting in the bank raising a total amount of N$700ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 in aid of the Cancer Association. In an effort to encourage schools to take part in this year’s project, the bank intends to award a total of N$22ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 500 to the winning schools. The top three schools that buy the most apples in the pre-primary, primary and secondary categories will receive prize monies. In order to give the smallest school a chance of winning, the ratio between the number of apples purchased and the number of learners will be calculated and audited. The proceeds of the Project will later be handed to the Cancer Association of Namibia.