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UICC’s City Cancer Challenge to transform cancer care globally

Saras Ramiya
08 Oct 2018
Tbilisi of Georgia is one of the cities selected for UICC's City Cancer Challenge.

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) invites cities in Asian countries to participate in the global initiative of City Cancer Challenge (CCC) and upgrade their healthcare services for cancer patients.

Launched in January 2017, CCC focused on working with cities of over 1 million population—supported by a multisectoral network of global and local partners—in the design, planning and implementation of cancer treatment solutions.

Until January 2019, CCC will select up to 16 cities of varying sizes, geographic regions, income settings and cancer care contexts through an open application process and improve their access to essential cancer medicines and technologies.

Selected cities will engage in a transformational 2-year process including stakeholder engagement, landscape assessment, channel activation and activity planning and implementation. This will strengthen their capacity, leadership and accountability in the delivery of cancer treatment, care and control that effectively meets the needs of their population. As of October, Kigali (Rwanda), Porto Alegre (Brazil) and Tbilisi (Georgia) were selected.

Battle against cancer
“The battle against cancer is real. We are facing 18.1 million new cancer cases and over 9.6 million deaths worldwide each year, approximately half of which are in Asia. These numbers are projected to rise rapidly over the next 10 years and will have serious implications for countries where resources are limited,” said Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired, of Jordan, President of UICC.

“We initiated the City Cancer Challenge to address this and a year on, we are seeing tremendous progress in each of our four key learning cities, representing a huge paradigm shift in cancer care at the local level.  The united efforts of our cities and partners have allowed us to refine the initiative’s methodology—from the assessment of needs to prioritization, planning, and financing—so that we can make a tangible impact in the fight against cancer on an even bigger scale. I can only urge more cities to join us to take a lead in reducing inequities to cancer care for their people.”

The four original key learning cities ie, Cali (Colombia), Asunción (Paraguay), Kumasi (Ghana) and Yangon (Myanmar), have been mobilizing the initiative’s network of global and local partners to develop and implement localized action plans, tailored to the needs of each city. These plans have the potential to improve cancer care for over 25 million people.

In Cali, CCC partnered with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) to deliver a series of workshops to 60 laboratory professionals to enhance quality control and strengthen the laboratory network across the region.

In Asunción, the city executive committee prioritized the need to work collaboratively on a draft cancer law for Paraguay—a legal framework based on the right for citizens to access comprehensive cancer services. The law, which covers all services dedicated to cancer care, is currently undergoing review by the Senate’s health commission.

Similar efforts are underway in Kumasi, where the assessment stage is in process, and Yangon whose city executive committee is focusing on the translation of their assessment findings into a city activity plan for priority actions.

“Understanding how the principles of City Cancer Challenge’s partnership model can be implemented across the diversity of our cities is integral to its success. By joining the initiative to raise the profile of cancer on their political agenda, Challenge Cities can leverage the strength of the world’s leading cancer experts to improve the quality of care for their people, proudly showing their efforts as part of the global movement to actively reduce premature deaths from non-communicable diseases by one third by 2030,” said Professor Sanchia Aranda, Immediate Past President of UICC.

For further information, go to www.uicc.org/challenge-cities

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