On May 7 the American Cancer Society hosted a cancer stakeholder workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania. This workshop provided a forum to transition the Society’s history and partnerships in Tanzania to future cancer control activities led by local stakeholders. It brought together 34 participants from health facilities, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations. The objectives of the workshop included sharing the national noncommunicable disease (NCD) strategy, sharing information and findings from various assessments and evaluations conducted in Tanzania by stakeholders, identifying strategies to improve coordination among the cancer sector stakeholders, and contributing to the finalization of the national cancer control plan. Speakers during the workshop included Dr. Joseph Mbatia, director, Noncommunicable Diseases; Loyce Pace, director, Regional Programs, American Cancer Society; Dr. Ali Mzige, Tanzania Public Health Association (TPHA); and Dr Elias J Muganyizi, Tanzania Palliative Care Association (TPCA), among others. As part of plans to move forward, five critical areas were identified and discussed in stakeholder workgroups: resource mobilization, education/awareness, networking/coordination, policy/legislation, and capacity building. Necessary action plans were aligned to each area to further support cancer control in Tanzania.
From left to right: Dr. Luiz Santini, Brazil's National Cancer Institute (INCA); Jon Kerner, Canadian Partnership against Cancer; Abel Limache Garcia, Peru's National Cancer Institute (INEN); Cristina Parsons Perez, American Cancer Society; Eva Maria Ruiz de Castilla, NGO Esperantra.
At the 3rd International Cancer Control Congress held November 8-11 in Como, Italy, American Cancer Society staff delivered presentations on cancer planning, employer engagement, and tobacco control in Africa. More than 400 cancer control leaders from Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia addressed critical issues in planning and implementing a comprehensive approach to cancer control. In addition to keynote presentations by Ala Alwan, MD, of the World Health Organization (WHO) and others, there were workshops on all aspects of cancer planning and control in low-, middle-, and high-resource settings. Cristina Parsons Perez, PhD, manager, Latin America Initiatives, American Cancer Society, served on a panel about cancer planning with the head of the Brazilian National Cancer Institute. Johanna Ralston, vice president, Global Strategies, American Cancer Society, gave two presentations at sessions organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency on tobacco and cancer control in Africa and working with employers and the public sector on public-private partnerships. The abstracts of American Cancer Society staff presentations were selected for publication in the Congress monograph in the journal Tumori, a journal about experimental and clinical oncology.
Panelists at South Africa cancer control strategies meeting, representing the Department of Health of South Africa, Pfizer, and the Mandela Foundation
From July 20-23, the American Cancer Society brought together 15 cancer control nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in South Africa to discuss experiences and opportunities in coordinating community-based cancer control strategies. Participants engaged in small group activities and dialogues that highlighted common challenges, best practices, and overlapping resources. During a panel discussion, speakers from private industry (Pfizer South Africa), civil society (Nelson Mandela Foundation), and government (South Africa National Department of Health) shared insights and advice regarding successful multi-sector partnerships. In their parting statements, the NGO participants praised the opportunity to share ideas and use tools offered by the American Cancer Society at the meeting. They also committed themselves to developing and acting on local, regional, or national collaboration plans with peers. Since the meeting, multiple formal and informal partnerships have been formed or explored. The American Cancer Society also convened cancer and tobacco control stakeholders in Cameroon from July 15-17 for similar discussions on current activities and priorities. The need for more accurate information and education was highlighted as a major priority. One stakeholder recounted a situation in which a newly diagnosed cancer patient was told by his physician that it would have been better if he had HIV/AIDS than cancer. The statement was a poignant reminder of both the lack of awareness of cancer information and critical resources for cancer control in the country and the overall region.