Governments across the world have the power to make a positive difference in the lives and health of their people. Their leadership role on World Cancer Day is significant, with the ability for their voices to carry widely across communities, social and traditional media.
The newly published report released today by UICC, Governments in Action: World Cancer Day 2018, offers a summary look at how more than 40 governments around the world used this global health day as an opportunity shift the needle on national policies and legislation and to challenge the expected increase in new cancer cases around the world.
In the concluding year of the three-year ‘We can. I can.’ campaign, the urgent actions of governments from Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, France, India, Kenya, Malta, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, The Netherlands and more were powerful statements on the importance of prioritising cancer at the national and global level.
For example, the government of Tanzania shared new measures being taken on improving cancer treatment and services nation-wide; the government of Sweden also took the opportunity to present its future cancer care plans for the nation, while the two governments of Brunei Darussalam and Malta called for progress in increased and equal access to cancer services.
“Today, the 4 February marks World Cancer Day and Brunei Darussalam together with other countries around the world, once again, will continue to raise awareness and take action to prevent and mitigate the effects of cancer. The Ministry of Health will not be able to fight this disease alone, it is only through collaborative and synergistic efforts or whole-of-nation approach that We Can together eventually achieve our health targets and national Vision 2035 of high quality of life for our people.”
Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Dr Haji Md Isham Bin Haji Jaafar, Minister of Health, Government of Brunei Darussalam
With powerful platforms for change, leaders and policy-makers worldwide have a responsibility to use their voice for influence to change perceptions about the disease, to further educate, to raise awareness, and to show their support to cancer survivors and individuals living with cancer and their family and caregivers. World Cancer Day provides the global platform to amplify their voices for greater impact.
It is hoped that these examples will serve as an inspiration for more governments and civil society organisations to work together on future World Cancer Days and beyond.
Find out more about how governments used World Cancer Day in 2018 for impact.