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 Cancer Advocacy Toolkit
This new South African Cancer Advocacy Toolkit is based on the Photovoice research outcomes of Dr. Lynn Edwards and Linda Greeff. (*See below for further details) This research captures the felt needs and experiences of a representative sample of cancer patients and caregivers in South Africa. The Cancer Alliance has distilled this into nine Priority Areas of concern, which also align with the UICC World Cancer Declaration, as follows:
- Access to cancer treatment
- Early detection and treatment
- Patients’ right to health care
- Cancer training and education for healthcare workers
- Cancer stigma
- Importance of psycho-social care for cancer patients and their families
- Re-engineering the health system to ensure integrated cancer services
- The negative impact of poverty on cancer services
- Collaboration between government, NGOs and CBOs to improve the spread of service delivery
For each Priority Area the Toolkit provides fact sheets, policy briefs and notes on how to meet the challenges, aimed at policy and decision makers. These are supported by sample stories drawn from the Photovoice research. This is completed by providing suggested social media messaging which you can use in your involvement in our call Let’s Talk About Cancer.
Toolkit material for each Priority Area was released from February to November during 2017.