GO developed Cancer Education Materials (CEM) for cancer patients and their caregivers in resource-contained settings to improve the treatment experience. The primary goal of the project is to close the gap in cancer patient education by addressing differences in patient literacy levels while promoting treatment completion by helping patients and caregivers better understand the disease and treatments. GO's CEM team continues its work to adapt, refine, evaluate, and expand our efforts, adding more languages and for more modes of treatment. 

Past funding helped engage partners in Malawi, Rwanda, Haiti, Botswana, Boston and Guatemala.  Below you can sign up to download copies of “Cancer and You” in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Setswana, and Kinyarwanda.  The materials focus on chemotherapy are currently being adapted for radiotherapy thanks, in part, to a grant from Varian Medical Systems as well as individual support through our Global Giving campaign: https://goto.gg/20554.

Through this initiative, we hope to improve the patient diagnosis and treatment experience in these and other resource-constrained regions, reduce stigma, help facilitate dialogue between patients and providers, and ensure that no patient stops treatment because they haven’t received complete information about the care process.

For more information about this project, contact GO at info@globalonc.org.

Identifying the Need

The GO Cancer Education Materials project originated from early conversations with the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) nursing staff in Blantyre, Malawi, facilitated through the GO-QECH partnership.  Nurses identified the need for culturally appropriate cancer education materials targeting low-literacy populations in order to improve patients' understanding of their disease and treatment.  Through a small team of Global Oncology volunteers and design support from THE MEME Design, GO worked with nurses in Malawi and Rwanda and the medical community in Boston to develop an image-based educational booklet to meet the needs of these patient populations.

Collaboration between Global Oncology and THE MEME Design

From 2014 – 2017, Global Oncology worked with THE MEME Design in Cambridge, MA, who generously offered their time and expertise to help GO develop the innovative patient education materials for patient populations in low-resource settings in sub-Saharan Africa. These efforts, led by Carlos Cardenas, were instrumental in allowing GO to pair the content developed from a network of experts in Boston, Malawi and Rwanda, with patient-centered, culturally relevant design accessible to low-literacy audiences.

Picture 2 - Patient Education Materials

GO collaborated with the design firm The MEME Design to create low-literacy patient educational materials for cancer care.

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Building Global Partnerships

The GO Cancer Education Materials project collaborated closely with staff at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.  The materials are now being used and evaluated at other partner sites.  We hope to build on our existing partnerships with these sites as well as extend the reach of this initiative to other interested collaborators.

To this end, Global Oncology is partnering with the nonprofit OncArt, Inc. to expand access to its Cancer Education Materials and to collaborate on the shared mission of raising cancer awareness in impoverished regions where rates of cancer are high and health literacy is low. These tools are available for download at no cost, on this page (below) as well as in the OncArt.org library.

Cancer And You: Patient Education Booklets for Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy & Radiation: