Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day Events at CANSA
12th December 2018 – Bedfordview: The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) hosted an event with the theme “Strengthening advocacy efforts for equitable access to treatment and care for ALL” at the CANSA Head Office on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day. An event was also hosted at the CANSA Durban Care Centre, in KZN.
Organizations that were represented included the following: Gauteng Department of Health, the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, the Rural Health Advocacy Group, Arebaokeng Hospice, CHOC, National Council Against Smoking, the NCD Alliance, National Palliative Care Alliance, Life Esidimeni Family Committee, SA Family of Mental Health and Gauteng Department of Education, campaigning for Cancer and CANSA.
Introduction was made about the importance of commemorating UHC as the global community is calling for all people to have access to needed services of good quality health care without the risk of financial ruin linked to paying for care.
Reference was made to the international health coverage pillars for 2018 which are:
- Ensuring Political Commitment & Multi-Stakeholder Action
- Leaving No One Behind
- Engaging Community Voices
- Investing More & Smarter
- Holding Leaders Accountable
The participants were reminded about South Africa’s measures seeking to ensure UHC through NHI, though the conditions in our health care system are not yet conducive to universal health care, hence the need to strengthen advocacy for redressing the health system for quality health for all.
A Highlight of the event was a presentation from the Rural Health Advocacy Group that shared lessons learnt in health advocacy and the need to strengthen advocacy education at undergraduate studies.
The outcome of the workshop included networking and strengthening collaborations and alliances at grassroots level.
The participants agreed on the need for follow up advocacy efforts on the following identified concerns:
- Cancer and palliative care to have its own Directorate from National Department of Health to Provinces and the Districts. This is essential so as to ensure that there is specific focus on cancer and palliative care.
- Call for ring-fenced budgets for cancer and palliative care
- Provincial Strategic committees to be developed with focus on cancer and palliative care
- Rural and urban proofing of the policies to ensure Universal health coverage.
- Training on Advocacy for all health care professionals
- The integrated School Health programs to include education and awareness on Cancer
- More auditing, monitoring and evaluation of the public sector Cancer Departments and actions to be speedily taken as the is great need for new Radiotherapy machines
- Increase of Staff in the public sector
- Screening for NCDs to include screening for cancer
- Training of the WBOT staff and PHC on cancer and early detection.
- Improvement of referral system between the DoH facilities and the community based organizations.
- The awareness campaigns and that of the NDoH to be inclusive of all organizations to improve the reach of messages to the communities, using all media all relevant media.
KZN – CANSA Durban Care Centre UHC Event:
Partners invited to the event included: CHOC, Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP), Heart and Stroke Foundation, Multinational Lung Cancer Control Programme (MLCCP), Provincial Health Promotion (DOH) and CANSA.
There was a short introduction About UHC Day and the main points included:
- International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) on 12 December aims to mobilize diverse stakeholders to call for stronger, more equitable health systems to achieve universal health coverage, leaving no one behind. It has become the annual rallying point for the growing global movement for Health for All.
- Every year on 12.12, we raise our voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health and remind the world that #HealthForAll is imperative for the world we want.
- This was followed by a short video on the event.
- Partners were informed that the aim of the workshop was
- To create a platform for like-minded organisations in the Non –Communicable Disease (NCD) arena to work towards increasing advocacy efforts in strengthening health systems.
The first speaker was from Rural Health Advocacy Project who spoke on Tool and Strategies for a better health System. Emphasis was made on the need for networking and partnerships in strengthening advocacy efforts. The importance of understanding our ethical, legislative and policy framework was also covered by the speaker.
The Highlight of the event included a presentation by Dr Themba Ginindza an epidemiologist from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal working under the Public Health Discipline. He spoke on behalf of Multinational Lung Cancer Control Programme (MLLCC) who are working on Lung Cancer Research in 4 African Countries. He highlighted that too many patients are dying of lung cancer because it is diagnosed too late. No data regarding lung cancer in African countries or the causes of lung cancer in our context – this means that policies and practices are not necessarily meeting the needs of the local context. The objective of the MLLCC is to improve early diagnosis for lung cancer and identify pathways of care, including palliative care.
The Way Forward:
Partners aim to set up a network of NCD partners in 2019 to accelerate advocacy efforts towards ensuring equitable access to patients and on pooling resources to maximise our efforts in KZN. The operational framework for this network will be finalised once partners meet.
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CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research (more than R12 million spent annually) and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public.
Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support and organisational management; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support.
We also supply patient care and support in the form of 11 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients; a Wellness Centre based in Polokwane; and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.
Visit www.cansa.org.za,or contact CANSA toll-free on 0800 22 66 22 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – follow CANSA on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram. CANSA offers multi-lingual support on WhatsApp: 0721979305 for English and Afrikaans, and 0718673530 for Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati.