Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) in partnership with stakeholders held a Universal Healthcare workshop on Wednesday,
12 December, at CANSA Durban Center, in Umbilo.

Held under the theme, “Strengthening Advocacy Efforts for Equitable Treatment and Care for All”, with an aim to call for access to good quality health care services for all without risk of financial ruin linked to paying for care.

During the proceedings, participants were reminded about South Africa’s measures seeking to ensure Universal Health
Care (UHC) through National Health Insurance (NHI). This despite, the current conditions that are uncondusive to universal healthcare.

”There is a need to strengthen advocacy for redressing health system for quality health care for all,” said National Advocacy co-ordinator Lorraine Govender. The event was attended by different stakeholders including, CHOC, Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP), Heart and Stroke Foundation, Multi-national Lung Cancer Control Programme (MLCCP), Provincial Health Promotion and CANSA.

Dr Themba Ginindza, epidemiologist from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), under the Health Discipline, said too many patients die of lung cancer because of late diagnosis. “No data regarding lung cancer in African countries in our context, this means that policies and practices are not necessarily meeting the needs of the local context,” he said.

He advocated for the improved healthcare system and early diagnosis for lung cancer and identify pathways of care, including palliative care. “We aim to set up a network of NCD partners in 2019 to accelerate advocacy efforts towards ensuring equitable access to patients. We plan
on pooling resources to maximise our efforts in KZN.The operational framework for this network will be finalised once partners meet,” Ginindza said.