The power of partnerships

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it's that transforming healthcare isn't possible without partnership.

The world has seen scientists, healthcare professionals, businesses, regulators, and governments working together like never before. Across countries and cultures, developing and approving tests, vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, demonstrating that partnerships have the power to overcome some of the biggest challenges in healthcare. But partnerships are not just for global crises, they are the most effective way of addressing access to healthcare - and to cancer care in particular.

Tackling the access barriers to cancer care involves complexities that must be addressed at a local level. This is where partnerships have a huge role to play.
Jointly addressing barriers to access

Our aim is for every person who needs our diagnostics and medicines to be able to access and benefit from them. However, we know that today far too many people have either no access or only limited access to even very basic levels of healthcare. Around 70% of all cancer deaths occur in the least developed parts of the world1. At the same time, only 5% of global resources for cancer prevention and control are spent in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs)2.

Because of the complexity involved with access to diagnostic testing, medicine and monitoring, and because barriers to access can differ significantly from country to country, we believe they have to be tackled at the local level. This is where partnerships have a huge role to play. One of our most important collaborations is City Cancer Challenge (C/Can), which supports cities around the world to improve access to equitable, quality cancer care through some remarkable local initiatives: Ghana: implementation of a multidisciplinary approach to improving cancer services in Kumasi Paraguay: standardisation of best practices for breast and cervical cancer patients in Asunción

C/Can, with the support of Roche, has now partnered with Project ECHO to set up a series of virtual teleECHO™ sessions to enable medical professionals in C/Can cities to learn from each other, as well as from international experts in the cancer field. Project ECHO uses ongoing telementoring to equip primary care practitioners in rural areas with the knowledge they need to provide high-quality specialty care, operating in 34 countries.

Project ECHO aims to impact one billion lives by 2025 by working with organisations, like C/Can, around the world to replicate the ECHO model™.

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In a world shaken by COVID-19, it has never been more urgent to engage in cross-sector partnerships to improve access so that people living with cancer get the right care for them. We have a role to play in supporting patients and other stakeholders all over the world. But we can only do this together.

Our vision for the future

References

  1. World Health Organization. Cancer. [Internet; cited January 2022]. Available from: http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer

  2. World Health Organization. Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach. [Internet; cited January 2022]. Available from: http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA70/A70_32-en.pdf

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