The initiative aims to boost the capabilities of healthcare providers in oncology, increase the public's awareness about cancerous diseases, and bolster diagnostic capacities.
Under the patronage of the Egyptian health ministry, the Accelerating Change Together; Cancer Care in Africa (ACT;CCA) programme provides a platform for partners to co-create cancer care solutions that close the gaps in existing patient care pathway, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.
At the inaugural event, government representatives, leading clinical and health experts, patient advocates, and private sector representatives signed the ACT;CCA Coalition Declaration to affirm their commitment to advancing equitable cancer outcomes for all Africans.
“While cancer treatment developments are moving quickly, equitable access to these innovations is not there for all. Our ambition is to nurture the cancer care ecosystem in Africa, bringing together local stakeholders to co-create solutions and encourage long-term investment that leads to equitable cancer outcomes,” said Pelin Incesu, area vice president for the Middle East and Africa at AstraZeneca.
ACT;CCA focuses on driving impact in lung, breast, and prostate cancer through capacity building, early screening and diagnosis, and patient empowerment.
Over the next three years, ACT;CCA plans to provide screening and diagnostics to one million people across cancer types, and to provide training for more than 10,000 healthcare professionals across 100 oncology centres.
The programme is led by a steering committee of doctors, oncology institutions, and advocacy groups to guide policy intervention, share learnings across borders, and put cancer patients at the centre. Members will meet on a regular basis to drive progress on cancer initiatives.
Mohsen Mokhtar, professor of clinical oncology, managing director of Cairo University Cancer Centre and president of Can-Survive-Egypt, said collaboration was key to improving cancer outcomes.
“Each country joining the coalition invests heavily in cancer care programmes. We understand that by working together to develop a network that stretches beyond borders, we can close the gaps across the patient care pathway and provide solutions that improve outcomes and transform the patient journey not only for our own citizens, but across the continent.”
Over the coming months, more local initiatives under the ACT;CCA umbrella will be announced in Algeria, Morocco, and Kenya.