The Samoa Cancer Society has received much-needed financial boost thanks to the Civil Society Support Programme (C.S.S.P.).
Last Friday, Executive Officer, Shelley Burich and Treasurer, Lemauga Hobart Vaai, signed a contract for $200,000 C.S.S.P. grant funding for a one-year period to implement its Vave Cancer National Campaign for 2017.
The grant is supported by funds provided by Australian, a joint C.S.S.P. funding partner along with the government of Samoa, European Union and the World Bank Group.
Ms. Burich said the signing of the contract is the commencement of an exciting time for the Society.
“This funding allows the Society to execute its ‘Vave’ campaign (in short, the ‘V’ campaign) for one year and will focus on and promote three important messages; Vave i loa; Vave vaai le fomai; Vave vili mai (Early detection, Quickly see the doctor and Quickly call us),” she said.
“We know that early detection involves detecting cancers at early stages when they can effectively be treated and cured.
“Many of our cancer patients who present at very late stages, often wished that they had known earlier about the signs and symptoms and the importance of early detection and with the very high prevalence and late presentation cancer stages experienced in Samoa, it reinforces our aim to intensify awareness, education and outreach programmes throughout Samoa."
“Taking four of the top cancers in Samoa - gastric, breast, lung and prostate – the Society will produce television ads, posters, brochures and a billboard on all four cancer types, promoting the Vave messages, early warning signs and symptoms and the risk factors associated with these cancers."
“It will target community social awareness nationwide in most forms of media and will include reaching most vulnerable village communities with direct outreach programmes during the year.”
Ms. Burich says the Cancer Society firmly believes that community awareness forms the backbone of early detection of cancers.
“The role of the Society is to support the health sector in the promotion and reinforcement of health messages and specific cancer messages, and also, that as a civil society within the health sector, the Samoa Cancer Society has the capability to influence health sector policy by advocating for access for ALL Samoans to the best possible services to diagnose and treat cancer."
“This will be the third CSSP grant which the Society has been awarded over the past 6 years and I believe that it has been our ability to use funds and report openly and comprehensively to our donors and health sector partners, that has given them the confidence to award further funding to the Society.”