Cancer is the second-highest cause of death in the world and the number is increasing year by year. As per Global IHME, Global Burden of Disease, 9.56 million people had died from cancer in 2017. In the context of Nepal, still, the access to hospitals for rural and urban working-class communities is inaccessible or difficult to bear the cost of treatment. In the case of cancer treatment, a very limited number of hospitals are engaged to provide treatment services and they are mostly located in Kathmandu or major towns of the country.
In such a scenario, it becomes very necessary to increase the level of awareness at the community level. In each and every ward, Nepal government has involved Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHV) for raising awareness and performing community-related health activities and campaigns. FCHVs have very good knowledge and information about most of the households in their working area. In this context, the orientation of cancer to FCHV and some of the medical staff working in nearby health centers might be a very useful means of disseminating cancer awareness information so that early detection of cancer can be made possible and treatment can be done.
Daya Foundation sponsored a one day cancer orientation and awareness program on Jan 6, 2020 organized by Nepal Cancer Survivors Society (NeCaSS)to health workers working at Ward No 6 & 7 of Budanilkantha Municipality. The target audiences for the training were Female Community Health Volunteer (FCHV) and health post staffs from Khadka Bhadrakali Health post from Budanilkantha 6&7.
The main objectives of the orientation training to the FCHV and local level medical workers was to aware of the different types of cancer mainly breast, uterus, and blood its symptoms, treatment. Further, it aimed to train participants on the self-examination process of the breast to know some abnormality in the breast.
The other objectives were to disseminate the cancer awareness message at the community level mainly to women so that they can visit health centers for early detection and receive the treatment on time.
There were a total of 54 participants who directly benefited from the training events. The participants were FCHV, Nursing students, and medical staff from Khadka Bhadrakali health posts.
The training was organized at Chhahari single women building at Hattigauda Budanilkantha municipality.
The technical support was provided by Nepal Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Harisiddhi Lalitpur. The resource persons were: Dr Prafulla Shakya – Breast Oncologist, Dr. Anu Shakya – Gyno-oncologist.
The hematologist Dr. Pragya Bhandari from the HIMS was present in the event as an individual resource person.
After short opening remarks from Daya foundation and other guest invitees, the technical session was started. NeCaSS chairperson explained the objectives of the events.
The first session was on Breast cancer. Dr. Prafulla Shakya facilitated the session. He had covered the cause and symptoms of breast cancer. He also described the treatment procedure and its type. He also demonstrated a breast self-examination procedure with support from nurses from the Nepal cancer hospital.
Dr. Anu Shakya had facilitated uterus and ovary cancer sessions, where she explained different causes and symptoms of the uterus and ovary cancer. She also mentioned the importance of PAF smear test and when to conduct it. She had demonstrated VIA test procedure which can be easily practiced at a health center having basic facilities
The third session was on blood and other cancer and was facilitated by Dr. Pragya Bhandari. She briefed the cause, symptoms, and treatment process.
All the doctors had emphasized raising awareness at the community level and that can be played by FCHV and local level medical workers who are working very closely with community people mainly women.