PROJECT PHAKAMISA: AN/ACCESS INITIATIVE FOR BREAST CANCER IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines. AstraZeneca is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease medicines. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com
In oncology, the company has established itself since 1974, with the launch of the first anti-estrogen hormonal treatment for the management of Breast Cancer, and currently has registration in South Africa for the complete range of hormonal treatments for Breast Cancer with some of this range on tender for patients in the public sector.
Project Phakamisa has been initiated by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd in South Africa as an Access Initiative with the intention of providing support to the health care system to ensure adequate diagnosis, treatment and management of breast cancer patients in the public sector. The primary objective of Project Phakamisa aims to address the needs of patients, health care professionals and the health care system in South Africa. “Phakamisa” is a Zulu and Xhosa word for up-liftment: to help others to help themselves.
Project Phakamisa’s primary objectives are to:
Strengthen and support the referral system and follow up for breast cancer patients to enable them to receive their treatment timeously.
Providing assistance to patients, clinicians, nurses, volunteers, counsellors and institutions towards reaching the objective of ensuring disease awareness, earlier diagnosis and effective referral and management of patients with breast cancer.
Improve access to AstraZeneca breast cancer medicines to patients in the public sector.
ASSISTANCE TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
Our goal is to enhance the knowledge and skills of Health Care Providers managing Breast Cancer in the public sector, and we aim to effect this by means of a number of activities including, the support of Breast Cancer Journal Clubs for clinicians nationally, training of nurses from the primary to tertiary level to adequately manage and/or refer women who present with breast cancer symptoms and, support to international congresses on breast cancer for clinicians in the public sector (where possible).
ASSISTANCE TO VOLUNTARY WORKERS
Our initiative will focus on development of volunteers / counsellors working with Breast Cancer patients in the public sector. We aim to provide assistance to a specific number of individuals who voluntarily perform this duty and excel in their performance by means of training and development of suitable courses to enhance their outputs.
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals is also investigating the option of rewarding these outstanding volunteers/ counsellors by means of a minimal monthly stipend primarily to cover basic costs such as transport and airtime. This will require annual evaluation and updates of such stipend agreements.
These agreements will meet the criteria outlined by law. It will be managed, evaluated and updated by BHF. All according to the recommendations of AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals will review the agreements annually, following evaluation of successful outcomes.
To be able to measure outcomes, AstraZeneca will welcome 6 monthly updates of statistics of patients reached and impacted by Project Phakamisa. All criteria will be met to ensure that patient confidentiality is maintained.
We would like to investigate the potential of capturing this data in line with legal and ethical frameworks relating to patient participation and confidentiality.
PROJECT PHAKAMISA: AN ACCESS INITIATIVE FOR BREAST CANCER IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
We are currently seeking the advice and insight of treating physicians, nurses and social workers in the Johannesburg/Sedibeng referral system. As well as members of the National Department of Health in order to design the best possible program. To enhance a breast cancer patients’ treatment experience in the public sector. they will utilise this information to replicate the programme to other areas/sites in the country. However taking into consideration specific needs of those sites, and partnering with organisations such as BHF and others.
Our intention is to align our efforts with some of the key priorities of the Department of Health’s 10 Point Plan. As well as the Minister of Health’s 20 outcomes which list amongst it’s priorities the following:
The quality of health services can be improved
Improving health systems effectiveness by strengthening Primary Health Care
By improving patient care and satisfaction
To date we have successfully trained 400 Phakamisa volunteers who are navigating diagnosed patients in the public system. They utilise a specially designed mobisite on mobile phone to keep in contact with patients and their managers. During 2012 these navigators have had contact with about 80 000 women. Phakamisa also trained 100 HCP’s in the public system in 2011 and the plan is to do 250 during 2012.