The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) has today launched the next phase of its global initiative, City Cancer Challenge, inviting cities from across Asia to take steps to increase access to quality cancer care.
Speaking today at the 2018 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, President-elect of UICC stated,
“The battle against cancer is real. We are facing 18.1 million new cancer cases and over 9.6 million deaths worldwide each year, approximately half of which are in Asia. These numbers are projected to rise rapidly over the next ten years and will have serious implications for countries where resources are limited.”
“We initiated the City Cancer Challenge to address this and a year on, we are seeing tremendous progress in each of our four Key Learning Cities, representing a huge paradigm shift in cancer care at the local level. The united efforts of our cities and partners have allowed us to refine the initiative’s methodology – from the assessment of needs to prioritisation, planning, and financing – so that we can make a tangible impact in the fight against cancer on an even bigger scale. I can only urge more cities to join us to take a lead in reducing inequities to cancer care for their people.”
With 54% of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities are uniquely positioned to drive sustainable innovation in the delivery of health services to large populations. Since the launch of the City Cancer Challenge in 2017, the four original Key Learning Cities have been mobilising the initiative’s network of global and local partners to develop and implement localised action plans, tailored to the needs of each city. These plans have the potential to improve cancer care for over 25 million people.
As the first step of implementation in Cali (Colombia), City Cancer Challenge partnered with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) to deliver a series of workshops to 60 laboratory professionals that provided technical assistance to support the need to enhance quality control, strengthening the laboratory network across the region.
The needs assessment in Asunción (Paraguay) highlighted high fragmentation of the local health system, resulting in a lack of coordination between healthcare institutions, increased costs and inequality of care. In direct response, the City Executive Committee prioritised the need to work collaboratively on draft Cancer Law for Paraguay – a legal framework based onthe right for citizens toaccess comprehensive cancer services. The law, which covers all services dedicated to cancer care, is currently undergoing review by the Senate´s health commission.
Similar efforts are also underway in Kumasi (Ghana), where the assessment stage is in process, and Yangon (Myanmar), whose City Executive Committee is focusing on the translation of their assessment findings into a city activity plan for priority actions.
Building on this success, the next phase of City Cancer Challenge will expand the programme’s efforts, offering cities with the shared ambition of elevating cancer care solutions the opportunity to sign up as 'Challenge Cities'. The 2018 call for applications will focus on engagement within Asia, inviting cities across the region with a population of over one million to join the initiative.
As the lead scalability partner, Roche will support the growth of the initiative by sharing its health system knowledge, business planning expertise and the necessary financial support.
Commenting on the partnership, Jörg Rupp, Director, Roche Pharma International Leadership Team, said,
“Work in the first four cities is progressing well and we are seeing already the impact that can be delivered when all healthcare players, public and private, work together to address a common goal. We are pleased to be able to partner with the UICC on the expansion of the challenge from four to twenty cities because we truly believe the approach has the potential to transform cancer care and patient outcomes.”
President of UICC Sanchia Aranda stated,
“Understanding how the principles of City Cancer Challenge’s partnership model can be implemented across the diversity of our cities is integral to its success. By joining the initiative to raise the profile of cancer on their political agenda, Challenge Cities can leverage the strength of the world’s leading cancer experts to improve the quality of care for their people, proudly showing their efforts as part of the global movement to actively reduce premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by one third by 2030.”
For more details about City Cancer Challengeand to find out how your city can become a Challenge City, visit the City Cancer Challenge Checklist at https://www.uicc.org/challenge-citiesor contact the UICC City Cancer Challenge team:firstname.lastname@example.org