08 February 2022

Cipla and CANSA are closing SA’s cancer care gap with “Navigating the Big C” portal

Submitted by Noluthando Khumalo

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says between 30% and 50% of cancers can be prevented by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies. Furthermore, the WHO says early detection and proper care of patients who develop the disease can help reduce the burden on them and their families.

This World Cancer Day, titled: “Close the Care Gap”, Cipla South Africa, has partnered with the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) to launch an online portal called Navigating the Big C. The portal offers a combination of resources focused on providing cancer patients with the care and support they need to manage their illness.

Navigating the Big C caters for both patients who have been diagnosed with cancer and loved ones who want to support a friend or family member that’s got cancer but may not know what’s always needed. It does this by offering:

  • Information about the top 5 most common cancers
  • A Support Registry, which functions quite similar to a wedding registry. It allows cancer patients to add gifts of service, like meals for their family while they’re undergoing chemotherapy, or items like a book to read during trips to the hospital, to make life a little bit easier while they’re fighting the ‘Big C’, and to empower loved ones to support them in the best way possible.
  • A Dignity Transition Facilitator Course, to equip loved ones with the necessary emotional and physical support education to help patients adjust to their final stages of life. 
  • A Cancer Coping Kit, which provides practical information and advice that answers any questions that newly diagnosed cancer patients and their loved ones might have after receiving their diagnosis, such as celebrating life, dietary changes, and pain management.

“World Cancer Day is a reminder to people across the globe of their own experiences with cancer and that of loved ones, as well as lives lost to this disease, which is the world’s leading cause of death,” says Paul Miller, CEO of Cipla South Africa.

“By partnering with CANSA, we can help countless South Africans come to terms with their diagnosis and navigate the ‘Big C’ as part of our ethos of helping to make a difference in a patient’s life. People facing a cancer diagnosis must receive the right care and support from the very beginning. Whether from family or information portals, we know that support is key to patient recovery. As such, offering a platform dedicated to “caring for life” is a crucial step towards eliminating misinformation and ensuring cancer patients in the country have a fighting chance at living a normal, healthy life despite their diagnoses,” he continues.

Cipla has partnered with a range of South African businesses to build its support registry and ensure loved ones of people facing cancer diagnoses can show their care and support. These include

By partnering with CANSA to bring this initiative to life, Cipla also hopes to educate even more South Africans about ways to reduce the risk of cancer, including a healthy diet, leading a balanced lifestyle, going for cancer screenings, and vaccinating against viruses. Cipla has also created a series of videos which it will roll out online over the next few weeks of patients sharing stories of their cancer journey – the good, the bad and the ugly – as a way of reminding people that early detection can save lives.

“It’s a true privilege to collaborate with Cipla to create this online portal, which allows us to provide emotional support and guidance to even more cancer patients and their loved ones so they can make the best and most informed decisions regarding their diagnosis and treatment options,” says Gerda Strauss, Head of Services at CANSA. “We also want to empower loved ones by equipping them with the knowledge they need to become qualified Dignity Transition Facilitators so they can provide emotional and physical support in the final stages of cancer patients’ lives.”

Cancer patients and loved ones can click here to access the Navigate the Big C portal.  www.thebigC.co.za

Cancer Fact Sheet 2021 [internet], https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer.

Published in Health and Medicine

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