Awareness of disease and symptoms is essential for screening and early detection. If members of the public are aware of a disease and its symptoms, they are more likely to take action to prevent it happening to them, or go to healthcare providers for check-ups.
On the other hand, if people are not aware of diseases and healthcare options it keeps them from taking preventative action or from visiting their doctor and accessing care.
What causes a lack of awareness?
Lack of awareness is due to the absence, inaccessibility or inaccuracy of information, which is sometimes made harder by cultural taboos, myths and fear, which can stop people from taking preventative action or seeing doctors.
For example, One out of four people in Africa believes that cancer has no cure, and only 36% seet cancer as a major health issue.
As a result of lack of awareness, people often come to healthcare facilities when their disease has worsened or reached a late stage, resulting in lower chance of effective treatment. Around 70% of cancer patients in Indonesia see physicians at a late stage.
Lack of awareness also leads to stigma
Lack of awareness is not only dangerous in terms of worsening health outcomes, it can also be divisive in society and can affect quality of life.
For example, a young child with haemophilia may not be invited to a friend’s birthday party because the hosts are scared to invite a haemophiliac. Or a person living with schizophrenia may be afraid to talk about his or her condition because the stigma around the condition links it with violence.
What are we doing?
We believe successful therapy begins with awareness of the symptoms of a disease and a visit to a healthcare professional.
Therefore, we invest strongly in awareness campaigns and build strong partnerships to help improving disease awareness. We partner with patient groups, hospitals and health organisations around the world to increase awareness of diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, osteoporosis and diabetes.
We support local community partners to run screening, awareness and counselling programmes, and help to empower people with the knowledge to safeguard and manage their own health.
Our experts publish newsletters, magazines and other publications aimed at helping people make healthy choices and changing behaviours to prevent disease. We develop websites that provide the latest information on diagnostic tests and treatment options. We produce information for patients, families and caregivers who operate counselling services to help them understand diseases and the proper use of our products.
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Our access to healthcare initiatives
Explore some of our access projects from around the globe.more