The first Leadership in Action meeting for the Asia Pacific region was hosted in Seoul the day before the 24th Asia Pacific Cancer Conference (APCC 2017). Participants were senior executives of UICC member organisations from the region, which included a total of 25 representatives from 15 different countries.
Dr. Saunthari Somasundaram, National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) President and Medical Director and host of the next World Cancer Congress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, welcomed the participants for a half-day of discussion on Partnership, Advocacy and Prevention in Action, each aimed at sparking discussions on creative solutions, lived experiences, case studies and best practices. The first session, entitled “Partnership in Action” was led by Dr. Cary Adams, UICC CEO. Using the Partnership Toolkit: “Better Together“, Dr. Adams introduced how to work with different stakeholders, design and deliver a successful partnership, and address conflict of interest.
The second session, “Advocacy in Action”, led by Prof. Sanchia Aranda, UICC President and Cancer Council Australia CEO, and Dr. Rachael Rosario, Philippine Cancer Society Executive Director, focused on the critical role NGOs play in advocating for policy initiatives that improve the health of the population. This session outlined key concepts in successful advocacy, using examples of tobacco control from Australia and the Philippines.
The last session, “Prevention in Action”, was presented by Prof. Jeff Dunn, UICC Board member and Cancer Council Queensland Strategic Leader in Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Priscillar Napoleon, Papua New Guinea Cancer Foundation Programs Manager. Prof. Dunn discussed the different levels of cancer prevention, highlighting the use of media and engagement of communities to raise awareness, debunk myths and change social patterns present in the whole region. Ms. Napoleon shared lessons learned and best practices of the HPV vaccination pilot program in Papua New Guinea as an example of what could be achieved at the primary health care level.
The meeting ended with a closing reception, during which participants expressed their continued desire to participate in relevant events like Leadership in Action. It was the first of its kind, engaging a spread of participants. Initial feedback showed that attendees valued the opportunity to discuss and share their regional perspective, and that they grew closer as a regional group, which is especially relevant in the lead up to the next World Cancer Congress, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1-4 October 2018.
These ‘Leadership in action’ meetings are part of UICC’s CEO Programme, sponsored by MSD, and occur during non-Congress years.
UICC Capacity Building regional team: firstname.lastname@example.org