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Policy Framework & Strategy for Ward Based Primary Healthcare Outreach Teams – Advocacy for Cancer Care Content Input in Community Health Workers Training

CANSA and the Cancer Alliance (CA) have been part of the consultative process on the implementation of the Policy Framework and Strategy for Ward Based Primary Healthcare Outreach Teams (WBPHCOT). The intention of the policy is to strengthen the collective response in dealing with the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s), HIV/AIDS and TB and to extend healthcare beyond the individual patient to a community based approach.

The CA expressed that although the Community Health Workers (CHW’s) have been assigned to clinics for a number of years, this is the first time that there is real recognition of this cadre of workers that requires a standardised scope of work that is linked to standardised training. Labour unions are strongly advocating for the rights of CHWs as employees to be upheld. The Ward Based Primary Healthcare Outreach Teams will be set up in the communities. The Stats SA’s multi-dimensional poverty index will be used to determine the priority areas for the teams to focus on. These teams will be linked to a Primary Health Care Facilities for referral purposes. The intention is to initiate implementation by April 2018.

Civil society will be required to provide input on the training curriculum of the CHW. To ensure that this policy framework and strategy works for the Cancer community, it is suggested that members of the Cancer Alliance take cognisance of the Stats SA’s multi-dimensional poverty index and align their implementation of programmes and projects strategically around these areas.

We are urged to be part of this exciting new development and ensure that in a collective manner we become involved at all the levels of health implementation especially in the targeted communities.

CANSA, together with other Cancer Alliance members, is currently in the process of deciding on appropriate cancer content to be recommended for the CHW training manual.

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