The impact we are aiming to achieve through the national activation of Treatment for All

14 November 2018

Domenico G. Iaia, Capacity Building Senior Manager

Union for International Cancer Control

It's no secret that at UICC we are big believers in change. We are moved by firm values, evidence-based aspiration and unwavering determination. But we are also mindful of reality. Aspiration that is not rooted in reality will never lead to the change for which we advocate.

UICC welcomed with enthusiasm the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with their ambitious target on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), alongside the landmark cancer resolution on Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach, approved in 2017 at the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva. The cancer resolution in particular represented a significant opportunity to accelerate coordinated efforts, especially with regard to the need to address inequity in access to early detection and treatment, including pain relief and palliative care.

These global targets set huge aspirations for the global cancer community and we, as UICC, knew that strategic, evidence-based action would need to be taken together to meet such global demands. We knew that we had to embrace reality and channel our aspirations and the ones of UICC members into meaningful action for change.

That’s why, earlier this year, UICC launched the campaign “Treatment for All.” Such an ambitious, global advocacy campaign, centred around four key pillars on improved data and access to early detection, treatment and care, will only be turned into reality if we provide our members with the skills they need to advocate for improved cancer control and accelerate national progress, primarily in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Treatment for All: National Activation

The national activation of Treatment for All is concerned with equipping and supporting national-level civil society and UICC Members with the skills they require to mobilise civil society and engage governments through advocacy.

In particular, the national activation of Treatment for All aims to provide a learning opportunity for UICC members and national-level civil society on key strategic issues such as advocacy, coalition building, communication and fundraising, in order that they can collectively identify advocacy priorities in line with the four pillars of Treatment for All and work collaboratively with governments to translate global cancer commitments into national action.

We strongly believe that successful national advocacy efforts can lead to improved patient outcomes as a result of strengthened national health systems beyond cancer services and cancer interventions alone.

Through the national activation of Treatment for All, UICC will provide targeted technical support and guidance, to 17 Country Champions in the first instance, with the following supporting resources made available during 2019:

  • A needs assessment survey to identify priority areas of action against the four pillars of Treatment for All and the skills required to design and deliver an effective, national Treatment for All advocacy campaign;
  • A Treatment for All practical guide on advocacy, communications, coalition building and fundraising;
  • A template Treatment for All advocacy strategy;
  • A virtual course with guidance from experts and from one another, which will be based on the content of the toolkit, and;
  • A monitoring and evaluation framework to track progress as a result of the joining of the campaign.

Our vision is that, through the national activation of Treatment for All, UICC members will strengthen their knowledge and skills to raise the profile of cancer in their countries, use a clear advocacy strategy to influence national policies, and work collaboratively with government as well as with other organisations focused on cancer control to achieve the objectives defined within their national advocacy campaigns.

Three Country Champions: Indonesia, Mexico and Uganda

Treatment for All invites each organisation to conceive and implement tailored national advocacy campaigns in line with the country context. We already count examples of three UICC Members that have joined the campaign in 2018 and have become active in the spirit of Treatment for All.

For the Indonesian Cancer Foundation, Indonesia, joining the Treatment for All initiative was a clear opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to advocate for improvements in cancer treatment and care, drawing upon advice and expertise from leading global experts and UICC members. For Salvati A.C., Mexico, Treatment for All was a key step in seeing local issues through a global lens and engaging meaningfully with key national decision makers. Treatment for All enabled the Uganda Cancer Society, Uganda, to embrace new direction in advocating for a comprehensive, operational National Cancer Control Plan.

The efforts of civil society in these countries inspire us and it is not too late to join them.

Expressions of interest

Treatment for All was widely discussed at the 2018 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit and World Cancer Congress held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Focus was placed on presenting and disseminating the national activation of Treatment for All and the expressions of interest to become a Country Champion or a Mentor, which opened on 1st October. The deep interest shown in Kuala Lumpur by UICC members alongside their commitment to improve their skills have been rapidly reflected into a considerable number of applications that we have received so far to join the campaign.

We encourage you to apply to become a Country Champion or Mentor and, please, bear in mind that the deadline for submission is 30th November, 2018.

On World Cancer Day next year, UICC will announce the new 17 Country Champions that will join the campaign in 2019 to lead their country’s efforts in mobilising civil society to advocate for Treatment for All, and who will benefit from targeted technical support and guidance.

Through Treatment for All, we are asking UICC members and civil society to be motivated by reality. Now is the time to join the campaign. Virtue alone is not enough. A better vision will only prevail if we work tirelessly on behalf of that vision.

If we want more equitable health systems and more prominent cancer control in countries, we need to keep working for it. If we want policies that address those most in need, we need to be better advocates tomorrow than we are today. If we want to forge change, we need to build it together.

About the author

Domenico G., Iaia (@enicoiaia), Capacity Building Senior Manager, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)Domenico oversees the national activation of Treatment for All. In the past five years he coordinated a project on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) working with parliamentarians, members of government and civil society representatives from around the world to elevate health and development to the top of national political agendas.

Last update: 
Friday 7 June 2019