PATIENT EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE
The LIVESTRONG Foundation has implemented the Survivor Empowerment Initiative in South Africa with partners Campaigning for Cancer and the American Cancer Society, as well as key local organizations. This collaboration brought together decision makers, clinicians, media, advocates and survivors to work towards a system of care that put the survivor first. The goal of the initiative was to help bring visibility to gaps in cancer control and highlight the need for cancer to be a stronger priority on South Africa's health agenda.
In May 2011, a national call to action was issued at the Voice of Cancer Survivor Forum for South Africa. The South African government responded by making a formal commitment to address these issues and make cancer a priority on the nation's health agenda.
AFRICA ANTI-STIGMA INITIATIVE
The LIVESTRONG Foundation launched a pilot campaign in South Africa to raise awareness of the global cancer burden and reduce the stigma associated with cancer through culturally relevant and targeted messaging. Working with implementing partner John Snow Inc. (JSI) and local non-profit and advocacy groups, the campaign raised awareness about the disease, improved knowledge about treatment and challenged the stigma that surrounds cancer.
Three areas were selected in which to target the national initiative: Mdantsane (Eastern Cape), Khayelitsha (Western Cape) and Soweto (Gauteng). Over a period of 18 months beginning in April 2010, the campaign conducted focus groups and interviews, empowered survivors to share their stories, held community events, collaborated with non-governmental organizations, the government, church leaders and traditional healers, launched a door-to-door campaign, trained community health workers and media figures, implemented a SMS-text campaign, hosted a radio call-in show, and created TV and radio public service announcements (PSA). The campaign achieved significant results.