Cancer control in LATAM: leaders discuss challenges and successes

Leadership in Action in Latin America
23 October 2019

Over 50 leaders recently came together in Mexico City to exchange the most recent developments in cancer control pertinent to their countries and reinforce regional collaborations.

Leadership in Action in Latin America

Throughout 2019 over 150 leaders have come together in Singapore, Oman, Senegal and recently in Mexico City, through UICC’s ‘Leadership in Action’ programme to discuss challenges and successes in cancer control.

UICC’s ‘Leadership in Action’ platform, being the regional component of the CEO Programme, was launched in 2017 to better serve members closer to their needs, and foster stronger regional collaborations. In 2019 alone, the meetings have brought together over 150 leaders from across four regions.

On the 4 October 2019 more than 50 participants representing UICC member and partner organisations from the Latin American region gathered in Mexico City to discuss leadership challenges, reinforce regional collaborations, and exchange the most recent developments in cancer control pertinent to their countries.

Both the Instituto Nacional de Cancerología – México (INCan), the local host of the event and a long-standing member-partner organisation, and UICC gave significant importance to developing a meeting programme oriented towards regional challenges and necessities.

With Universal Health Coverage (UHC) at the forefront of this year’s global health discussions, the meeting in Mexico City featured a strong focus on UHC. Thanks to its knowledge partnership with McKinsey, UICC were able to bring in Roberto Garcia, a health systems specialist for the global consultancy firm in Latin America, to provide an expert presentation on the status of UHC with regards to cancer in Latin America.

While a first commitment to UHC in the region was highlighted, its concrete implementation does pose challenges, from the extent of service coverage dedicated to cancer, to the financial protection of patients due to growing out-of-pocket expenses. Nevertheless, discussions also shed light on innovative regional efforts, such as Oncosalud in Peru, as well as on success stories where civil society advocacy efforts brought about positive legislative change; for instance FEMAMA’s work in Brazil and Fundación Cecilia Rivadeneira’s initiatives in Ecuador.

Leadership in Action in Latin America

This year’s ‘Leadership in Action’ meeting in Latin America also included the latest in the series of UICC’s Public-Private Dialogues (PPD). The PPD platform opens the conversation to stakeholders from the private and other sectors aiming to create a space for frank discussion and exchange around some of the challenges in cancer control. In Mexico City, representatives from civil society, the pharmaceutical industry, and private and public sectors explored both solutions and specific areas of collaboration on the financing of national cancer control plans and the gaps and necessary actions in the region going forward. 

A report from the meeting summarising key learnings and insights will soon be available in English and Spanish.


The ‘Leadership in Action’ meeting for the Latin American region was held in Mexico City on 4 October 2019. It was hosted by UICC partner the Instituto Nacional de Cancerología México (INCan). The meeting was held in conjunction with The Economist’s War on Cancer LATAM 2019.

Are you a member organisation, and interested in convening the cancer community in your region? UICC is happy to hear from you! Read more about being a ‘Leadership in Action’ host and submit your expression of interest through this online form.

Last update: 
Thursday 7 November 2019