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CANSA Advocacy – Putting knowledge into action

 #CANSAadvocacy   #CANSAserves   #CANSAcares

1. Alleviating the cancer burden

Input to South Africa’s ‘Draft National Cancer Prevention and Control Plan’ (NCCP)

In August 2017, CANSA collaborated with partner the Cancer Alliance, to give feedback, when stakeholders were invited to review and submit comments to the National Department of Health, on a draft document of the NCCP for South Africa. The purpose of the document is to provide an overview of the major cancer prevention and control initiatives, focused on alleviating the burden of cancer in South Africa. Read our joint recommendations…

Cancer affecting women

2. Addressing national priority cancers affecting women

Breast cancer: Prevention and control policy launched

CANSA has contributed to updating this policy, and the updated version has recently been launched. The policy addresses breast cancer, the most common cancer among SA women, with regards to awareness, prevention, treatment and care in South Africa. It provides for the clinical support of women, who are both at-risk of developing the disease later in life, and are currently undergoing treatment, to survive and live healthy lives. It is envisaged that this policy, along with the accompanying programme implementation strategy and clinical guidelines, will be applied in the public sector at all levels of the health system, thereby positively contributing to reducing breast cancer incidence and mortality rates as well as improving the quality of life for women in South Africa. Read more…

Cervical cancer: Prevention and control policy launched

CANSA was among those acknowledged for contributing clinical expertise towards the development of the revised policy. The revised policy takes into account some of the advances in cervical screening and treatment. Cervical cancer has been identified as a national priority in South Africa, as well as other Sub-Saharan African countries, and it is the second most common cancer among women in SA, with the highest mortality rate. Although this is a preventable disease, due to limited access to prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, cervical cancer is often fatal. Read more…

3. Input for cancer care content in community health worker training

Policy: Framework and strategy for ward-based PHC Outreach Teams

CANSA and partner the Cancer Alliance, have been part of the consultative process on the implementation of this policy. The intention of the policy is to strengthen the collective response in dealing with the burden of NCD’s, HIV/AIDS and TB, and to extend healthcare beyond the individual patient, to a community based approach.  Community Health Workers have been assigned to clinics for a number of years, but this is the first time that there is real recognition of these workers, who require a standardised scope of work, that is linked to standardised training. Read more…

4. Lobbying for access to treatment

KwaZulu-Natal access to treatment concerns

According to the briefing by South African Human Right’s Commission (SAHRC), dated 23rd August 2017, a report was compiled that found the Department of Health (DoH), violated the rights of patients with cancer at Addington and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospitals, to have access to health care services, as a result of their failure to comply with applicable norms and standards as set out in the legislation and policies. Currently there is an 8 month waiting period for cancer patients needing radiation services, and a 5 month waiting period to see an oncologist. Read more about how CANSA is addressing this through several partnerships…

Making use of strategic media partnerships to convey key advocacy messages

Strategic partnerships ( radio, print and television) can broaden support and increase the legitimacy of advocacy efforts ensuring that governments and policy makers hear the same key messages across all levels. Looking out for opportunities with organisations e.g. media with shared goals, can strengthen advocacy around common issues by creating a united voice for sustained positive change. Many cancer-related issues require solutions outside of health. It is important to look beyond the health sector and to seek out synergistic partnerships with non-traditional partners, including television.

In 2017 CANSA arranged for patients to be interviewed and to share their stories on Carte Blanche. Through our footprint at grassroots level we are able to share stories from patients that carry far more power than our words alone.

KZN Oncology Crisis video

If you, or anyone you know has a story to share about cancer access and treatment issues, please contact our Advocacy Team at

Affordable medicine

5. Lobbying for affordable medicine

Fix the Patent Laws (FTPL)

CANSA Advocacy is now represented on the steering committee of the FTPL. On 8th August 2017, the Department of Trade and Industry published the Draft Intellectual Property Policy of the Republic of South Africa. The FTPL Campaign (including the SANCDA) welcomed the call for public comment. Many people in South Africa continue to die and suffer because they cannot access the medicines that they need. This policy provides hope to these people. It is now up to government to deliver on this promise by swiftly implementing wide-ranging law reform in line with this policy. Read more…

Competition Commission

A report was released following the Competition Commission’s investigation into price fixing allegations against pharmaceutical companies, after concerns were raised by CANSA, the Cancer Alliance, Advocates for Breast Cancer, and Section 27. Read more…


6. Helping to meet challenges experienced by patients & caregivers

South African Cancer Advocacy Toolkit

CANSA supports the new South African Cancer Advocacy Toolkit, based on the Photovoice research outcomes of Dr Lynn Edwards and Linda Greeff. This research captures the felt needs and experiences of a representative sample of cancer patients and caregivers in South Africa. Our partner, the Cancer Alliance has distilled this into nine Priority Areas of concern, which also align with the UICC World Cancer Declaration. 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. Read more about how CANSA is meeting challenges in these priority areas…

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