CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation and Campaigning for Cancer have partnered to launch Vuka Khuluma (Wake up and talk) pilot campaign in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN). The aim of this campaign is to highlight the prevalence of cancer amongst children, increase diagnoses of childhood cancer and drive access to available care and treatment to all those who are diagnosed throughout KwaZulu-Natal.
A successful soft launch was hosted at the TBWA offices in Westville on the 01st of March 2017. Among the guests were the Kwa-Zulu Natal MEC of Health, doctors, traditional practitioners, social workers, nurses and other stakeholders. The guests were introduced to the Vuka Khuluma campaign through a series of presentations. Sean Donavan, the CEO of TBWA and Board Chairperson of Campaigning for Cancer, welcomed the guests and shared TBWA’s vision and commitment to the project. Mzwandile Khanya, CHOC Vice Chairperson, shared his journey as a bereaved parent and the influence of cancer myths and stigmas on his life. Lauren Pretorius, CEO of Campaigning for Cancer, shared the desired impact envisioned for the KZN community. Praveen Inderpersadh, the Deputy MD of TBWA, presented the brand development of Vuka Khuluma and Kevin O’Brian from Spar emphasized community involvement and the role Spar will play in the success of this project.
A highlight of the evening was MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, stating “I support the launch and on behalf of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, I am happy to announce full support to this vision.” Carl Queiros, CHOC CEO, concluded the evening with a note of thanks to all stakeholders. The evening closed off with a performance of the Vuka Khuluma signature tune as every dream should have its own unique song. Thank you to the musicians, Marciano Rebele Monjane and Johann Prinsloo for putting those words to music. Marciano and his son, Danito, have experienced personally how childhood cancer can change lives forever when Danito was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma.
Vuka Khuluma has been endorsed by both the National and Provincial Departments of Health. It is a programme with five strategies that run parallel with the aim of addressing the challenges communities face when it comes to the fight against childhood cancer. These are the five strategies the organisations plan to rollout:
- Mass Media and Public Relations: Utilising radio, TV, video, print and social media, as well as engaging journalists, to disseminate positive and informative message about cancer through sharing survivor stories.
- Community Outreach: working in targeted communities to address misconceptions about cancer; sharing survivor stories on a local level through awareness events and distributing the Early Warning Signs of childhood cancer.
- Training: working with healthcare workers to capacity build Professional and Enrolled Nurses, Home Based Care Workers, Healthcare Workers, Community Workers and Traditional Practitioners about grassroots advocacy and the Early Warning Signs of Childhood.
- Advocacy campaigns: to highlight issues that contributes to lack of successful treatment outcomes for children patients and advocating with influencers and decision makers to provide solutions to such issues.