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The CHOC awareness and education programme aims to train healthcare professionals, healthcare workers, traditional practitioners, and community advocates to identify the early warning signs of childhood cancer and to follow the correct referral pathways for childhood cancer.

Adequate training at grass roots can ensure that children reach specialised treatment centres in time to receive effective treatment, as well as have access to essential medicine and care.

Since 2011, 25 358 individuals have been trained during 567 sessions.

Education

Public awareness about CHOC and childhood cancer is carried out in all the regions. We conduct awareness talks at educational, faith, and community-based organisations, as well as at NGOs and Humanitarian organisations such as the Lions and Rotary etc. We also participate in corporate wellness days and government events.

We allow external fundraising events in aid of CHOC and distribute national and regional newsletters to keep our database in the know about what’s happening at CHOC.

We also focus on the media, including social media, to keep CHOC top of mind and spread the word on childhood cancer. We publish articles in newspapers, conduct radio and television interviews as well as magazine features to spread the word about the disease.

For School Teachers

We have put together a guide that can help support you when dealing with children in your class who have been diagnosed with cancer.

To download this support guide, click the button below.

Awareness Training

It is estimated that two thirds of children with cancer never reach a treatment centre, and of those that do, most are in late stages of the disease.

Research showed that an ongoing awareness campaign on the early warning signs was needed to improve the rate of referrals at an earlier stage of the disease.

Since 2011, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation has been working with the Department of Health and Traditional Healers Organisations to give health professionals, healthcare workers, traditional healers and communities knowledge of childhood cancer. These individuals are taught the St Siluan early warning signs and learn how to demystify myths and stigma in communities. By sharing this knowledge, we hope to change the attitudes and practices of people towards the disease and in doing so, reduce the mortality and morbidity of children with cancer.

Training also tackles the myths which can create a culture of silence that is not good for promoting diagnosis and accessing treatment.

The training began in five districts of Gauteng and we have since expanded our national footprint as far afield as Venda. The CHOC regional offices also conduct outreach campaigns in local communities.

Our Training Campaigns

Recently CHOC trained some of its own employees and volunteers through SETA accredited training on how to become an effective facilitator and how to spread advocacy in communities. Working with the Department of Health, CHOC trained childhood cancer advocates in the Free State, Gauteng South, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, the Northern Cape, Western Cape and KwaZulu–Natal. To date, we have trained close to 30 000 trainees in seven of the nine provinces of South Africa.

In 2017 after many stakeholder meetings and trainings, the Vuka Khuluma (which means wake up and talk) awareness campaign was launched in KZN. The aim of the campaign is to increase the survival rate of children diagnosed with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders and to decrease disabilities relating to the late diagnosis thereof.

The 4 strategies of the campaign are:

  • To conduct accredited training workshops for health professionals, healthcare workers, NGOs and traditional healers on primary healthcare.
  • The campaign seeks to research a baseline study of the knowledge of cancer stigma by collecting in-depth knowledge on the public’s awareness, attitudes and health practices regarding childhood cancer and stigma in targeted communities.
  • The campaign hosts community outreach events and distributes educational material in the community to address misconceptions about cancer; share survivor stories and awareness campaigns, and educate communities about childhood cancer and related myths.
  • The aim is to highlight issues that contribute to the lack of good treatment outcomes for patients and advocate with decision makers to provide solutions to such issues.
Find out more about our other CHOC programmes