Screening & Cancer Control

Phakamisa – Supporting Ladies with Breast Cancer

Phakamisa – Supporting Ladies with Breast Cancer

See Warning Signs Breast Cancer…

About the Phakamisa Navigation Programme

Apart from non-melanoma skin cancer, Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women of all races, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 29 in South Africa, according to the 2011 National Cancer Registry.

The real tragedy however, is that many affected ladies in South Africa cannot afford or access proper, sustained medical care.

Phakamisa, launched by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in 2010, supports the South African healthcare system by assisting the public sector in ensuring the effective diagnosis, treatment and management of Breast Cancer.

Translated, the word Phakamisa means “to uplift” in Zulu or “elevate” in Xhosa.

Phakamisa Aims to:

Increase awareness of Breast Cancer among all SA women and strengthen & support the referral and follow-up systems for Breast Cancer patients and their families – furthermore aims include:

  • Empowering female volunteers with the knowledge of Breast Health and Breast Cancer
  • Enabling them to guide, aid and support patients diagnosed with Breast Cancer towards facilities for treatment
  • Enabling volunteers to ‘walk the walk’ with Breast Cancer patients
  • Establishing an effective referral system and follow-up management of Breast Cancer patients
  • Contributing to skills development (accredited training and professional development courses for health care providers and volunteers in the Breast Cancer field).

Read Phakamisa Fact Sheet

CANSA a Founding Partner of the Phakamisa Navigation Programme

CANSA is one of the founding partners of a this volunteer programme, providing training & volunteers, along with:

  • Astra Zeneca – project initiators and sponsors
  • Foundation for Professional Development – who oversee course-content and accreditation
  • Yonder – who provide software for mobile phones
  • Breast Health Foundation – who also provide volunteers

Each volunteer receives a cell phone with monthly airtime of R100 and a R200 monthly travel allowance to reach patients at clinics, hospitals and other health facilities and is expected to visit one health care facility per week; support one Breast Cancer patient per week (4 per month); attend one Phakamisa Feedback Meeting per month and provide written feedback on all activities.

Phakamisa Volunteers Women PMB 2015

The Phakamisa Navigation Programme has received recognition in the form of three international awards, including one for innovation.

Phakimisa by Numbers:

  • During the last financial year (2014 to 2015), training was also provided on additional topics: Cervical Cancer; menopause; dealing with domestic violence; child abuse and depression.
  • A total of 52 volunteers enrolled for training, bringing the total number of trained volunteers, since inception to 540
  • A total of 101 844 women were reached through 3 003 public meetings
  • The Navigators did 3 853 clinic visits over the 12 month period
  • An average of 165 breast abnormalities / lumps found, per month, were detected (of which an average of 33 tended to be malignant)
  • Supported an average of 1 035 patients per month (12 420 for the year) by trained Navigators

Queries CANSA

For more information regarding Phakamisa call your local CANSA Care Centre…


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