Samoa’s ‘Vave’ Campaign to inspire World Cancer Congress
The success of the Vave (Quickly) Campaign launched by the Samoa Cancer Society in 2017 will be presented to delegates from around the world early next month at the 2018 World Cancer Congress (WCC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Vave Campaign was a 12-month national social marketing campaign focused on early detection and quick action.
To maximise its reach, the campaign adopted a multi-pronged approach with three main delivery components: mass and social media coverage; printed resources and community education.
All components included the campaign messages: Early Detection; Quickly See a Doctor; and Quickly Ring Samoa Cancer Society (S.C.S.).
The campaign was successful in increasing awareness of cancer signs and symptoms in the community.
Approximately 2,000 Samoans (over1% of the population) received the face-to-face education sessions.
Analysis of pre-and post-session questionnaires showed that the session were effective in increasing health literacy around cancer signs and symptoms.
In addition, the number of enquiries by S.C.S. increased significantly as a result of the advertisements, from an average of 18 enquiries per month in the months prior to the implementation of the campaign to 40 enquiries per month during the campaign.
This increase was particularly marked during October (breast cancer awareness month) when S.C.S. received 112 enquiries.
Limited data on patient visits suggests that the campaign resulted in increased numbers of hospitals and general practice visits and is likely to have contributed to the early detection of some cancers.
This success story is not without its limitations and challenges.
The Vave Campaign experience will be shared at the World Cancer Congress, where 3,500 cancer control and public health experts from 150 countries will gather for effective knowledge transfer and best practises exchange.
The Samoa delegation will be led by the President of the Samoa Cancer Society, Lauaki Jason Annandale.
“I’m confident our participation at the Congress will also provide an opportunity for the Samoa Cancer Society to continue its existing international relationships and develop new networks and partnerships … important for improving the Samoa Cancer Society’s ability to access technical, informational and other resources which could in turn lead to advances in service delivery and/or service offerings,” he said.