During the past year the CHOC Awareness Training and Education programme hasreached new levels.CHOC started in 2011 training healthcare professionals, healthcare workers, traditional practitioners and community advocates in Gauteng, and now we have extended our services nationally. Our training at times takes place in professional facilities, sometimes in community centres, and other times under trees! CHOC trainers have travelled thousands of kilometres handing out thousands of informative pamphlets and training material.
The objective of the programme is to train healthcare professionals, healthcare workers, traditional practitioners andcommunity advocates to identify the early warning signs of childhood cancer and to follow the correct referral pathways for childhood cancer. This is to enable children to reach the specialised treatment centres in time to ensure ective treatment, as well as have access to essential medicine and care, in order to reduce the mortality and morbidity of children with cancer.
On 28 March 2018, Western Cape Department of Health’s Health Promoters in collaboration with CHOC presented the Early Warning Signs of childhood cancer to twenty two Traditional Leaders and Health Promoters from Khayalitsha and surrounding areas. In South Africa, the survival rate of chilldhood cancer is at a poor 55%, while in other developed countries the the rate is at 80-90%. Partly due to lack of knowledge about the disease and symptoms, in many cases most of the children referred for treatment are already in advanced stages, which significantly reduces the chances of survival. Early detection can dramatically change this scenario. CHOC facilitates an intensive Awareness Training and Education Programme to communities to ensure cancer symtomps and the referral pathways are known so that children in South Africa can be diagnosed much sooner.
More training will be held with Health Promoters and Traditional Leaders as CHOC values the partnership with the Western Cape Department of Health’s People’s Development Centre.