Success stories

Read more about our global advocacy wins and UICC members’ success stories in the fight against cancer. 

There are just over 8 million cancer deaths every year. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cancer are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide.

When the Millennium Development Goals were adopted in 2000, setting the political and funding priorities for global development efforts for the following 15 years, cancer and other NCDs were notoriously absent.

Global Advocacy Wins
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Over the last 7 years, UICC has united the cancer community to position cancer on the global health and development agenda:

  • In 2009 UICC co-founded the NCD Alliance which quickly saw its first success, securing a UN High Level Meeting on NCDs that resulted in a Political Declaration, recognising NCDs for the first time as a development issue.
  • Today the NCD Alliance is the leading civil society voice for NCDs, uniting almost 2,000 organisations in 170 countries.
  • A new global framework for NCDs has since emerged (See figure 1), that includes cancer-specific targets, actions and indicators across the care continuum. In particular UICC was able to emphasise the importance of both the health promotional and disease management aspects of chronic diseases, and advocated strongly for global targets on the health systems response to NCDs.
  • Since 2014, the World Health Assembly has adopted a series of new resolutions that are highly relevant for cancer and NCDs more broadly, including palliative care, access to surgery and anaesthesia, essential medicines, patient-centred primary care and the life course and aging agenda.
  • In 2015, a number of important publications were launched that make the case for returns on investment in cancer control, and support delivery of the global target of 80 percent availability of essential NCD medicines and technologies including the updated WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, and the Lancet Oncology Commissions on Radiotherapy and Global Cancer Surgery.  
  • In the same year, the UN General Assembly recognised NCDs as a critical development issue, including it in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. This success was the culmination of a six-year NCD Alliance campaign that UICC championed from the start.

View our UICC members' success stories below to learn about what members are doing in cancer control. We would also love to hear about your efforts, so please contact us at if you would like to collaborate with us on a case study.

UICC Member Stories

Advocacy Case Studies

Zambia: Prioritising key national investments for cancer control

In 2004 in Zambia, a lower-middle income country in Sub-Saharan Africa with a population of 15 million, approximately 75 percent of its people lived within two hours distance from a health facility. The government was sending cancer patients abroad at a cost of USD 10,000 per patient, limiting those that received care to 350 out of 5,000 patients. Read more

Norwegian NCD Alliance: Providing a united civil society platform for cancer and other NCDs

In 2013, Norway became the first country to adopt a national non-communicable disease (NCD) strategy in response to commitments made in the World Health Organization Global Action Plan for NCDs (2013- 2020). This achievement was due in large part to the efforts of the Norwegian NCD Alliance, founded in 2011 and consisting of the Norwegian Diabetes Association, the Norwegian Heart and Lung Patient Organization, the Norwegian Health Association and the Norwegian Cancer Society. Read more

Jordan: Creating a road map for tobacco control

With a per capita consumption of 1,372 cigarettes per year and nearly 4000 cancer-related deaths in 2014, tobacco control has become a critical public health challenge in Jordan. Read more

Uganda NCD Alliance: A governance structure to lead the NCD fight

In 2010, the Uganda Cancer Society allied with the Uganda Heart Research Foundation and the Uganda Diabetes Association as a broader Uganda Noncommunicable Disease Alliance (UNCDA). This alliance was formed to address common challenges across NCDs with the vision of a society free of preventable NCDs. Its mission is to lead the civil society response against NCDs by placing people’s health at the centre of the national agenda, with the aim of preventing and controlling cancer, diabetes, heart and other NCDs through advocacy, capacity building, communications, resource mobilisation, research, partnership and community empowerment, all in an effort to reach the global target of a 25% reduction in NCDs by 2025. Read more

Last update: 
Thursday 22 June 2017