This week the IAEA´s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) and the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) have agreed to join forces in the fight against cancer in the developing world.
"By working together, the BHGI and PACT can effectively integrate overlapping programs to achieve our common goals of building capacity through stronger regional and national healthcare systems, beginning in Ghana," said Benjamin O. Anderson, founder, chair and director of the BHGI.
"Together, our organizations will be able to maximize results through targeted programs to extend our reach, progress and, ultimately, achieve concrete outcomes, while leveraging dollars invested by all parties," said Dr. Anderson.
BHGI began work in Ghana through a collaboration with HopeXchange, a non-profit international humanitarian organization which has initiated the well received Ghana Health Project and organized the Ghana Breast Cancer Alliance (GBCA) under the direction of Dr. Riccardo Masetti, Professor of Surgery at the Catholic University in Rome. Through its joint venture with HopeXchange and the GBCA, BHGI was able to develop and test the first international Learning Laboratory in Kumasi, Ghana.
"The Learning Lab example in Ghana illustrates the successful initiation of classroom, operating room and online learning resources that we hope to replicate elsewhere in Africa and in Asia with the essential partnership of IAEA. We are very excited about the innovative frontiers of breast cancer control and reduction in mortality that this partnership represents," Dr. Anderson added.
The PACT/BHGI partnership announcement coincides with BHGI´s annual Global Summit on International Breast Health, 9-11 June in Chicago, where PACT´s Director, Massoud Samiei, will be presenting on PACT and the IAEA´s current cancer-related efforts. Mr. Samiei joins over 30 speakers at the summit, which will base its content around the optimization of healthcare delivery, an area of critical emphasis for both the IAEA and BHGI.
About the Partnership
IAEA and BHGI will be working together to curb the number of breast cancer deaths occurring in Africa through collaboration on several projects, including PACT's new Virtual University in Cancer Control (VUCCnet) project.
The VUCCnet, a distance-learning IT-based system PACT is developing together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners, will incorporate a breast cancer curriculum jointly created by BHGI, HopeXchange and the GBCA, which provides detailed training on the applications of breast cancer medicine. This curriculum is currently in use on a pilot basis in Ghana, but, with its incorporation into the VUCCnet, will soon be accessible in three additional African countries.
IAEA and BHGI hope to expand their efforts to support governments´ efforts to control breast cancer to Asia and the rest of the developing world sometime in the future.