Throughout the year trained volunteers and counsellors are involved in numerous outreach initiatives which provide education and emotional support for people diagnosed with cancer. On Saturday 4 February, teams of pastors and their wives will be available at a mass water baptism at the Ellis Park swimming pool in Johannesburg, encouraging those committed to starting a new life spiritually, to take responsibility for their lives and their health. Cancer knows no boundaries but through united efforts promoting the prevention and control of this disease, premature deaths from cancer could be reduced by 25% by 2025 according to the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) which is committed to global cancer control.
Pastors and Women in Action have attended cancer supporters' courses offered by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and Let's Talk About Cancer, an organisation established to help raise awareness of the increasing incidence of cancer. This training has equipped volunteers with knowledge of the disease and skills to offer practical and relevant support to patients undergoing cancer treatment. WiA volunteers have attended a special childhood cancer workshop and receive refresher training from Let's Talk About Cancer to keep their knowledge and skills current.
WiA has recently donated R5 000.00 to support Let's Talk About Cancer's awareness campaigns to help spread information as widely as possible. On-going education is important because prevention is always better than cure and by recognising early symptoms, medical assistance can be started as soon as possible, resulting in high success rates.
Trained teams of volunteers visit the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital oncology wards every day, supporting women and children during their treatment regime. They offer care, compassion, spiritual and emotional support. Volunteers visit Cape Town's Tygervalley Oncology Wards weekly. From the beginning of February, the weekly support visits will be expanded to include patients in the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria.
An important aspect of the cancer support project is the regular call backs to follow up and encourage patients. At the end of 2011, Women in Action made personal contact with each cancer survivor they had met during the year, offering support and encouragement for the year ahead.
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in South Africa states categorically that support and prayer ministry do not replace medical treatment. Leaders, pastors and volunteers always stress that anyone who is ill needs to continue taking their medication and abide by the treatment regime, guidance and advice offered by their medical practitioner.
Pastors and members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God believe in the power of prayer, but see this spiritual support as another facet of the healing process. Prayer cannot and should not replace professional treatment.
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God holds regular blood donation clinics organised by the South African National Blood Services (SANBS) where church members donate blood to help ensure there is sufficient safe blood for medical use. Cancer patients often require transfusions of blood or blood products.
For further information please contact Nametso Mofokeng, UCKG public relations on 011 224 3447.