Uganda Cancer Society is delighted to lead the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) drawn from Italy, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda to the 14th Congress of the Society for Paediatric Oncologists (SIOP) Africa taking place in Uganda. The conference themed, “Innovate for Africa”, starts with a pre-conference symposium on March 16 at the Serena International Conference Centre in Kampala.
Let us unpack why cancer CSOs and patient support groups are involved:
Patients are the primarily reason why we are engaged in the discussion of how childhood cancer prevention, care and management, as well as rehabilitation/reintegration of survivors can be improved. This means that there must be nothing for the patients without the patients and their caregivers who are living through the experience. As opposed to adult cancers, childhood cancer care may not succeed without the parents as caregivers, supporting and proving for the children during the process of receiving care. Civil society organizations usually combine people from diverse backgrounds trying to make a contribution across the continuum of childhood cancer care. They are drawn in to address specific gaps as they may find fit and where they respectively believe their skillsets, expertise and more so passion may befit. As such, a number of civil society organizations are formations based on experiences of individuals and groups who have lived through the experiences of childhood cancer itself. It also involves practitioners and professionals who believe they can make a difference in the fight against childhood cancer and support the work of government in one way or another.
It is on the above grounds that CSOs participation at the SIOP – Africa 2020 is premised. It reflects the real experience of and work being done by parents, and survivors as well as civil society actors.