Cancer leaders come together at regional level to advance efforts for cancer control

Leadership in Action in Singapore
9 April 2019

Two 'Leadership in Action' meetings recently took place for the Asia Pacific and Middle East and North Africa regions.

Over 80 leaders and senior executives from UICC member organisations came together in two regions to discuss common leadership and management challenges, strengthen regional cooperation, and hear latest insights in cancer control relevant to their regions.

As part of the UICC CEO Programme, 'Leadership in Action' meetings took place, just a few days apart, in Singapore and Muscat, for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions respectively. The 'Leadership in Action' platforms are the latest expression of the growing regional focus of UICC’s capacity building activities: to serve members closer to their needs, and foster stronger regional collaborations.

Participants interact at the Leadership in Action in Oman

Working closely with a local member organisation acting as host, the Singapore Cancer Society and the Oman Cancer Association respectively, UICC ensured the content of both meetings were informed by local needs and priorities.

Community mobilisation and the role of volunteers took centre stage at one of the sessions in Singapore, due to the large proportion of volunteer- and patient-led organisations in the region.

In Muscat, a whole day was dedicated to discussing individual traits of leadership with two renowned human resources experts from the region, addressing what was perceived to be a critical gap locally, particularly across civil society.

“Amazing hospitality. Very good training sessions. Will definitely support our organisation and motivate me to be a better leader” 
– Sara Rashid, Kurdistan Save the Children, Iraq

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) provided a common thread running through both events. Expert speakers with regionally relevant knowledge of UHC were brought in to outline some of the practical implications this key concept in global health has for those leading efforts for cancer control locally. The focus on UHC is aligned with the theme for this year’s World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, taking place in Kazakhstan on 15-17 October.

“The learning was very much relevant and implementable locally in my country.” 
– Aryanthi Putri, Indonesian Cancer Information and Support Center Association (CISC), Indonesia

Leadership in Action, Singapore

Finally, the Leadership in Action meetings served also as the launchpad of a new platform to build trust across stakeholders and foster multi-sectoral collaboration: UICC’s Public-Private Dialogues (PPDs).Capitalising on the presence of leaders and senior executives of cancer organisations, the PPDs aim to provide a systematic forum where key players from different sectors can engage in frank dialogue on key issues for cancer control regionally.

In the APAC region, patient representatives, Ministries of Health, foundations and the private sector addressed together the theme of “the patient as real partner in shaping cancer care”. The MENA region saw patient advocates, heads of national cancer programmes, the private sector and cancer organisations discuss “key barriers, opportunities and practical steps for National Cancer Control Planning in the region”.

Reports from both meetings summarising key learning and insights will soon be available.


The 'Leadership in Action' meeting for the Asia-Pacific region was held in Singapore on 27 March 2019. It was hosted by the Singapore Cancer Society, with support from Astellas and Novartis. Travel grants were provided by Cancer Council Australia. The meeting was held in conjunction with The Economist’s War on Cancer Asia 2019.

The 'Leadership in Action' meeting for the Middle East and North Africa region was held in Muscat on 1-3 April 2019. It was hosted by the Oman Cancer Association, with support from Novartis and Roche. Local sponsorship was provided by Occidental of Oman Inc.

The next 'Leadership in Action' meetings will take place in Dakar in June (date TBC) for Francophone Africa, and in Mexico City in October (date TBC) for Latin America.

Are you a UICC member, and interested in hosting a 'Leadership in Action' meeting? Do get in touch!

Last update: 
Friday 7 June 2019