2014 World Cancer Congress

Creating a civil society led cervical cancer advocacy movement – The Caribbean Cervical Cancer Electronic Petition  (16171)

Maisha Hutton 1 , Trevor Hassell 1 , Laura Tucker-Longsworth
  1. Healthy Caribbean Coalition, St. Michael, Barbados

Background and Context:The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) is using the eHealth platform to build public awareness and create social movements aimed at improving cervical cancer policies and programmes. The Caribbean has the highest burden of HPV in the Americas. Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death in the region. Through the American Cancer Society’s Meet The Target’s Grant, the HCC and 20 member Caribbean Cancer Societies developed the first ever Caribbean Cervical Cancer Electronic Petition (CCCEP) building on the successful 2011 Get The Message mHealth campaign. 

Aim:The petition aimed at Heads of Government, asks for Increased Caribbean women's access to affordable Cervical Cancer screening. Objectives were driven by the cancer societies and based on national and regional cervical cancer policy/ programming priority needs. 

Strategy/Tactics: The E-Petition is hosted on Facebook and collects: full name, email, gender, age range, country of origin and mobile number.  The signature target is 50,000. Using social media, traditional media and mobile platforms, the petition is promoted by Caribbean cancer societies. 

Programme/Policy Process:The final results of the petition will be presented to Heads of Government. The HCC is currently exploring regional mechanisms for the acknowledgment of e-advocacy. 

Outcomes/What was learned: The CCCEP was officially launched on June 11, 2013. The total number of signatories at May 10, 2014 was 10,063, of which 78% (7850) are female and 22% Male (2213).  The age range of signatories is: 30.5%(18-30yrs), 26.1%(31-40yrs), 20.8%(41-50yrs), 11.4%(51-60yrs) and 5.2%(60+yrs). 

With little financial investment in advertising and promotion, the HCC is using innovative strategies including community outreach and champions, to drive community led advocacy. The CCCEP represents an important step in deepening the Caribbean democratic progress in which for the first time the people of CARICOM are seeking to directly influence cancer policy based on their own determination of priorities.