ABC’s goal is to put a stop to the current consequences of South Africa not having a breast health policy by actively lobbying and advocating for the development of a sustainable breast health policy for all people in South Africa.
What are the consequences of not having a breast health policy?
- Breast health awareness and education does not reach all South Africans meaning that thousands of people don’t even know they should be examining their breasts, let alone how to do a breast self-examination! Add to that, when a lump is then discovered, they don’t know what it is, and therefore do nothing about it.
- Another issue arising is that people don’t know what their constitutional rights are as South African citizens. i.e. they are entitled to safe and effective treatment, as well as a good standard of care.
- Breast cancer is an expensive disease to have! Many, many people on treatment can’t afford transport to their treatment centres, let alone the treatment itself.
- Without a solid breast health policy in place, medical staff can be ignorant of what a person’s rights are to care, treatment and support, leaving them to walk their cancer journey with unnecessary and unfair burdens and obstacles.
- The standard of treatment across the country and from hospital to hospital is not standardized and equitable which begs us to ask: Why?
- People get stuck in the government health care system, having to wait worrying, tiring weeks for the next appointment in the process from detection to diagnosis to treatment, where the cancer may worsen because of the delay in treatment.
- The diagnostic and treatment technology is typically outmoded and not nearly as effective as equitable treatment should provide. Some technology is not even available at many hospitals – and the patient usually then can’t afford to travel to the next hospital or leave her job and family to attend treatment that far away.
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