Tony Waite Focuses on Cancer & Palliative Care During the World Cancer Commemoration Month

Categories: Care, Community Engagement, and Featured.

Tony Waite Organisation is a private not-for-profit entity operating in the Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe in the Zimbabwe/Zambia border town of Kariba. It was formed after the death of Tony Waite a Kariba resident who suffered full blown AIDS and went public about his HIV status in 1991, way before much was known let alone disclosed about HIV. He worked for Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) and died in 1992 at the age of 57, leaving behind a will to look after orphans, leading to the formation of the Tony Waite Foundation in 1993. Tony Waite Organisation has evolved over the years and continues to serve the Kariba communities in response to the many health related challenges that they face.

During the month of October 2022, Tony Waite Organisation joined the rest of the world in commemorating Cancer Month by running a month-long campaign towards awareness and advocacy for early detection, better access to cancer services and pain management for those affected.

To wrap up the month’s campaign, the organisation held a skills transfer meeting on 4 November 2022 which was attended by 40 primary and secondary caregivers and clients who are on the adherence support programme (7m 33f).  The session focused on the importance of caring skills in the process of care and how they affect the quality of life of the patient and their family and/or caregivers.

The training team comprised 2 trained palliative care officers (i.e., the programme officer for Tony Waite Organisation and a State Registered Nurse from the local municipal Nyamhunga Clinic) who facilitated the skills transfer.

The session focused on breast cancer and palliative care.

  • Signs and symptoms of breast cancer with specific emphasis on the importance of prevention and early diagnosis
  • Self-breast examination
  • Treatment and management of breast cancer
  • Group work on sharing experiences in caring for a family member
  • Stigma and discrimination
  • Introduction to palliative care
  • Communicating with a client
  • Emotional and social support for family members
  • Spiritual and cultural aspects in palliative care
  • Pain assessment and management
  • How a dying patient may think or feel
  • Signs of approaching death

The session helped primary care providers to understand basic concepts in palliative care as cancer is one of the diseases that often needs palliative care. It allowed the participants to explore factors that influences the effectiveness of multidisciplinary teams when supporting cancer patients, and to understand the different models of care in palliative care.

The participants’ echoed that such meetings should be done more frequently as they help in the quality of care for their family members.

For more information about Tony Waite Organisation, or to support our work in Kariba, Zimbabwe, please visit our website;

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