Established in 1933 by cancer researchers who recognised the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise globally, UICC is the largest cancer fighting organisation with more than 535 members including major cancer societies, research institutes, treatment centres, patient groups and ministries of health in 127 countries. Following WiA's acceptance, UICC now has four member organisations in South Africa. With its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, UICC is committed to eliminating cancer as a life-threatening disease through education, awareness, influence and action.
UICC is a member of the prestigious Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance and attended the United Nations Summit in New York last year. The Summit focused on the four most prominent non-communicable diseases (cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes) and addressed the prevention and control of NCDs worldwide, with a focus on developmental challenges and the social and economic impact, particularly on developing countries. WiA believes UICC is an important resource for action and a voice for change on the global stage.
Membership of the UICC will enable WiA to align itself with international best practices, benefit from the most recent research and treatment options, and network with other organisations committed to accelerating the fight against cancer.
"UICC is excited about welcoming WiA as a UICC member. We look forward to working together to achieve the 11 targets of the World Cancer Declaration" said Maria Barbara Leon, UICC head of membership.
Women in Action's trained patient supporters are actively involved in many cancer outreach initiatives, visiting and supporting patients and their families in hospitals as well as hosting the "It's all about you" support group. WiA and pastors from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God work closely with 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. Through fundraising projects they have made considerable donations to organisations committed to caring for those with cancer.
Mrs Marcia Pires, founder of WiA says: "Access to information and support helps empower and equip caregivers, patients and their families through the diagnosis and treatment journey. Awareness of the disease and the importance of early detection play an important role in accelerating the fight against cancer."
Cancer knows no boundaries and UICC reports that this disease is the leading cause of death globally. However it's not all bad news. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that over 30% of cancers can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle or by immunisation against cancer-causing infections. Others can be detected early, treated and cured. Even with late stage cancer, the suffering of patients can be relieved with good palliative care.
Besides its work with cancer, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God is involved in helping to create awareness of other non-communicable diseases and empower communities to safeguard their health. The South African government's Department of Health has identified "A long and healthy life for all South Africans" as a strategic objective. Only through partnerships with private sector organisations can this vision become a reality.
Women in Action will continue to drive projects which contribute to the fight against cancer and other conditions and is committed to working with the UICC and other organisations to spearhead the initiative in South Africa.
NOTE: 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, patient supporters 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 UCKG 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.
For further information, please contact Nametso Mofokeng at the church's public relations department on 011 224 3400 or email email@example.com