Cancer Alliance South Africa: Advocacy Toolkit (2017)

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:

  1. Access to cancer treatment
  2. Early detection and treatment
  3. Patients’ right to health care
  4. Cancer training and education for healthcare workers
  5. Cancer stigma
  6. Importance of psycho-social care for cancer patients and their families
  7. Re-engineering the health system to ensure integrated cancer services
  8. The negative impact of poverty on cancer services
  9. 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 will be released on a monthly basis during 2017.

Photovoice Stories

The selected PHOTOVOICE CANCER PATIENT STORIES are part of a local research project into grassroots cancer-related challenges in South Africa and gives evidence to the many serious challenges faced by the general public in their attempt to access cancer care and treatment services.

Acknowledgement is given to the contributor of each photo-story and for the written consent for its use in cancer advocacy activities.

CITATION: Edwards, L. B., & Greeff, L. E. (2017). A descriptive qualitative study of childhood cancer challenges in South Africa: Thematic analysis of 68 photovoice contributions. South African Journal of Oncology, 1, 8 pages. doi:

Mapping of NCDs in the WHO African Region 2018

Mapping of NCDs in the WHO African Region 2018

In 2016 there were 4 national NCDs civil society organisations in the AFRO region: Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia in addition to the regional East African NCD Alliance. The mapping exercise looked at:

  1. Describing the NCDs civil society action in the region looking at challenges, gaps, capacity needs, and opportunities.
  2. Outlining regional civil society areas of action and priorities for NCDs prevention and control.
  3. Exploring how key global NCDs stakeholders can support civil society action

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National Core Standards for Health Establishments in South Africa – NDoH 2011

National Core Standards for Health Establishments in South Africa – NDoH 2011

The Department of Health is committed to providing the best quality care to patients and users of health services, in order to meet their expectations and needs, and to improve service delivery.

The Department of Health, with support from its national and provincial staff and private sector partners, has compiled the National Core Standards for Health Establishments in South Africa – Revised 2010 to set standards for a quality service through detailed definitions of what is expected. Achieving compliance with these standards will assist in proactively putting the systems in place to avoid the most important risks to poor quality care or reduce their impact.

In order to ensure the Core standards are accessible and easy to understand for wider distribution and use, this document outlines the standards only (not the more detailed criteria). This Abridged version of the National Core Standards should be read in conjunction with the main document if more understanding and clarity are needed.

Many standards already exist. These National Core Standards are not new or additional, but have combined existing policies and guidelines in a summary form that sets out the basic mandatory organisational requirements and expectations for safe and decent care in South Africa.