BCF runs Parent Support Groups at its care homes to help both the child and care-giver cope better with the complexities of treatment.
We have support-group meetings for the children where we help them to candidly talk about their challenges, fears, hopes, and dreams, and anything else that concerns their journey of treatment.
The care-givers also have support-group meetings where they get to talk about the challenges they face while caring for their children. Through these support groups, the children and their care-givers are given IEC materials that contain information about early warning signs, local hospitals, available treatments interventions, after-effects of medication, nutrition, palliative care and many others.
The materials also contain information for the parents on how to cope with the process of treatment. This has been helpful in lightening the load they carry individually.
We promote public awareness of childhood cancer by organizing sensitization workshops in communities. During these workshops we focus on teaching participants about what cancer is, possible causes of the disease, prevention and early detection, available treatments, and treatment centers that offer oncology services.
We demystify some of the myths about cancer that are prevalent in many communities such as that cancer is caused by witchcraft, that it is incurable, that it is contagious, or that all visible tumors are cancerous. We also answer questions about childhood cancer arising from the education process.
BCF seeks to be the champion on pertinent issues on behalf of the children suffering from cancer. We work with government through the Ministry of Health and the Uganda Cancer Institute, and with other stakeholders in the private sector to ensure that there are policies in place to adequately and equitably respond to the cancer epidemic that is stripping Uganda and Africa of hundreds of thousands of children each year.
The policies touch on critical issues regarding cancer treatment and management like early diagnosis, availability of affordable medicines, treatment abandonment, palliative care and psychosocial support.