The “HeadSmart: Be Brain Tumour Aware” campaign, was launched in June 2011 in United Kingdom to raise awareness among the public and professionals about pediatric brain tumours and shorten the time to diagnosis. The campaign designed awareness materials about symptoms and signs of pediatric brain tumours and distributed them among the public and health care providers. Besides, a guidance website on the proper medical assessment of patients to decide on whom to reassure, review, or refer for CNS imaging was launched.
Many community champions, individuals and families, around UK volunteered to be the “voice of the campaign” to help raise awareness in their local areas, networks and social media. With this collaborative work, the median total diagnostic interval (time between first symptom onset and diagnosis) was reduced from 9.1 (mean, 25.2) weeks (Jan–June 2011) pre-launch to 6.7 (mean, 21.3) weeks in the second year post-launch (2012–13). Our HeadSmart Jordan project , inspired by this UK experience, aims to raise awareness for early diagnosis and referral of children with CNS tumours among the public and health care providers in Jordan. The project, funded by My Child Matters grant in collaboration with King Hussein Cancer Center and in partnership with HeadSmart project, intends to achieve this by running two parallel awareness projects; one academic directed to the health care professionals and the other targets the public.
Lectures about symptoms and signs of pediatric brain tumours will be given to the medical and nursing students at their final years of study in the Jordanian universities, and to the pediatric, emergency and family medicine residents during their residency programs. Grand round lectures will be directed to general practitioners and nurses at the major hospitals and large schools (where we will also target the teachers). Roll-ups and posters of symptoms and signs of pediatric brain tumours will be distributed at most hospitals and reminder alerts will be sent to the professionals’ phones with the help of the medical and nursing associations. Whenever possible, we will participate with awareness lectures in the different medical conferences in Jordan.
With the assistance from the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, we will conduct campaigns in the public areas to raise awareness among the community about symptoms and signs of pediatric brain tumours and we will do a yearly “marathon” to advocate for this project. Public awareness advertisements, through newspapers /TV and social media, will help us reach to every city in Jordan; from North to South and from East to West.