GFC has launched initiatives in Vietnam in 2012 and 2014. We partnered with the Breast Cancer Club (BCC) of Hanoi (until May 2012 it was the only cancer support group in Vietnam) and 2 additional oncology hospitals in the country to:
‣ Establish six new cancer support groups at the CanTho and Hue Oncology Hospitals, for breast, colorectal and general cancers.
‣ Work with all the groups to create basic cancer awareness materials and programs designed to educate the general population about cancer, decrease stigma, encourage early treatment, and increase survivorship.
‣ Network the Vietnamese support groups and hospitals with international affiliates for support, aid and training.
In 2014 we entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bright Future Foundation (BFF), founded in 2012 by the Vice-Minister of Health in Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Xuyen, MD/PhD, promising to work together on cancer awareness and patient support in Vietnam. We are now working closely with them on expanding the cancer support group network in Vietnam. Moreover, GFC participated in an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) sponsored Oncology Conference at Hue General Hospital, where we moderated a panel and presented on the efficacy of clinician led cancer support groups in the hospital setting.
As a co-organizer of the Southeast Asia Cancer Management and Support Group Summit held in NhaTrang, Vietnam, November 14-15, 2015, GFC partnered with the Bright Future Foundation, the Breast Cancer Society of Hue, and WECAN/Seattle to share ideas and programs surrounding cancer management, treatment and care, support, education, and advocacy. The first event of its kind in the region, the Summit brought over 170 participants representing 9 countries together to begin building a supportive cancer coalition. We followed this up by co-hosting the 3rd annual SE Asia Breast Cancer Symposium which was held in Hue, Vietnam in June 2016. Partnering with the Breast Cancer Society of Hue and Breast Surgery International, this 3 day event welcomed more than 200 participants from 11 countries to share information surrounding breast cancer. GFC along with our partners WECAN/Seattle, additionally provided an advocacy training workshop for 65 patient advocates!
Cancer Awareness Pilot Program in Vietnamese Factories
We have entered into a multi-disciplinary partnership with local affiliates in Vietnam, international and local cancer control experts, local health NGO’s and public sector facilities to deliver our cancer awareness program to factory workers. Implementation of the program will begin in 2016.
We will continue to refine and strengthen our cancer awareness and support group programs based on our lessons learned through our pilot activities in Vietnam. We will use these lessons to scale our impact on the number of lives positively changed to provide us with a stronger platform from which to replicate our dual tract strategy in other countries. Future countries to be considered for the post pilot phase of expansion are subject to opportunities and criteria based on strength of local partnering possibilities, need and available funding opportunities. Countries that are currently under consideration include: Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Guatemala, Brazil, and Myanmar. Additional countries will be considered where the need justifies engagement.