What is Cancer Advocacy?
Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Health Advocacy supports and promotes patients’ health care rights, and enhances community health and policy initiatives that focus on the availability, safety and quality of care. The Cancer Alliance has adopted a human- rights based approach to cancer care that acknowledges that access to services is a matter of social justice, and gives voice to the voiceless.
The SA National Cancer Policies
The National Department of Health (NDOH) has put much effort into producing a series of national policy and framework documents which have direct relevance to cancer patients in South Africa. These include the following:
- The National Cancer Strategic Framework for South Africa – 2017-2022
- The National Policy Framework and Strategy on Palliative Care – 2017 – 2022
- The Breast Cancer Control Policy 2017
- The Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Policy
- Policies for Childhood Cancer and Prostate Cancer are on the horizon for 2018-2019
- Further policies are envisaged for the future, to complement the National Cancer Strategic Framework for South Africa.
In the Advocacy Toolkit: Part 2 the Cancer Alliance unpacks the most important content of each policy, provides some indications of additional work and support to ensure the success of the policy, and provides suggested social media messages which can be used to further raise awareness of the policy. Patient stories are also provided to demonstrate how each policy can assist to improve cancer services to patients.
Toolkit material for each national policy / framework will be released on a monthly basis during 2018-19.