The CAN Head Office is situated at 90 John Meinert Street, Windhoek West.  The office of the Chief Executive Officer, the National Operations Manager, the Senior Company Nurse and National Projects Coordinator as well as primary support staff are housed here.

A matron and support staff take care of managing the House Acacia Interim Home for adult cancer patients (94 John Meinert Street, Windhoek West), while a supervisor is responsible for the managing the CHICA Interim Home (6 Willan Street, Windhoek West).

An office administrator, receptionist and ad hoc nurse oversee operations at the CAN Erongo centre in Swakopmund (3C Ferdinand Stich Street) while the CAN Hardap Centre (Old Rhenish Church Complex, Rehoboth) is manned by the Rehoboth Voluntary Committee.

Voluntary sub-committees, together with hundreds of dedicated volunteers across the country, assist CAN in executing its enormous tasks.


Dr Abraham Bernard May (1912 – 1993), a specialist surgeon and the first Mayor of Windhoek in an independent Namibia (1990), founded the Cancer Association of (then) South West Africa in 1968. This association reported to the National Cancer Association of South Africa. In 1978 the association became independent from South Africa and changed its name to the Cancer Association of South West Africa/Namibia. Since then all funds raised and collected remain in the country and to the benefit of Namibians. During the 1980s with the formal transition of the Republic of Namibia becoming an independent sovereign state, the name was formally changed to the “Cancer Association of Namibia”.

The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) is registered as an “Incorporated Association not for Gain” with the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Namibia (registration 21/81/096) and is also a formally registered Welfare Organisation with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (registration WO30).


The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) in cooperation with the community, fights cancer and its consequences countrywide for the benefit of all Namibians by supporting research; health education and information; care and support services.

Aims and Objectives

It is the distinct aim of CAN to educate the general public regarding the prevention, early detection and dangers of cancer. CAN renders a welfare service to all cancer sufferers according to established criteria.

Education and supplying information is an ongoing process. By way of our annual program and by invitation, we raise awareness in different sectors of the community, i.e. schools, farm communities, religious denominations, women organisations, corporate exhibitions and CAN fundraisers. The Namibian media (electronic and written) is highly supportive of our services and activities, and continuously provide us with extensive coverage. Talks on various radio and television stations are regularly given with the emphasis on the impact of lifestyle and health. Leaflets and the Cancer Education Guide on all aspects of the 11 most common cancers affecting Namibians are distributed at every possible opportunity with the focus on prevention and early detection.

Welfare Service

Welfare is at the core of serving cancer patients in Namibia. CAN offers its care and supportive services, not only to patients, but also to their families. The association also provides equipment in the form of hospital beds, commodes, wheelchairs, oxygen, and more on loan, free of charge to cancer patients. Items such as colostomy bags/urostomy products, prostheses, nappies and nutritional supplementary products (Ensure, Life Gain, E-Pap) are sold at cost price to cancer patients. The association, strictly following the criteria set by the Board of Trustees, financially assists patients without a medical aid as well as those with no/or low income.


Research is costly. The association sets funds aside every year to support research. In 1998 CAN presented the first Namibian cancer Incidence Report to the Minister of Health and Social Services. This register is updated on an ongoing basis, and results are published every 3-5 years. Subsequent reports were published in 2003, 2009 and 2016. The most updated Namibian National Cancer Registry Incidence Report will be published in 2019.

Governing Body

CAN is governed by an Executive Council serving as Board of Directors, elected from the broad public at an Annual General Meeting every third year. It comprises a President/Chairperson, a Vice-President/Vice-Chairperson, a Treasurer, Secretary and (a minimum of) four additional members. CEO Rolf Hansen oversees the nationwide operations of the association, as well as the functioning of all sub-committees (all volunteers) throughout Namibia. The CEO also acts as National Director of the Namibia National Cancer Registry. Grant Thornton Neuhaus Auditors present annual financial statements

“The Cancer Association of Namibia (WO30) is pleased to announce the Board of Directors and Executive Council serving in this position voluntarily for the next 2 years, to the benefit of the fight on cancer in Namibia.

Seated (fltr): Sr Marjore Katjire; Mrs Saima Nambinga (Vice Chairperson); Mrs Lynn Swart (Chairperson); Mrs Monique Cloete (Treasurer); Sr Anthea van Wyk
Standing (fltr): Mr Rolf Hansen (Board Secretary (also the Chief Executive Officer of CAN)); Dr Hagen Förtsch; Dr Basie Steyn; Mr Harmut Diehl (Vice Treasurer).