Carrying a message about the need for collaboration and cooperation in implementing cancer control strategies worldwide, staff from the IAEA Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) participated in an important international conference on cancer control in Lima, Peru, from 3 to 6 November 2013.
During the Fifth International Cancer Control Congress, PACT staff chaired a session on Improving Integrated Approaches to Cancer Treatment and Care, co-led two workshops, and sponsored attendee participation from Bolivia, Brazil, Ghana, Nicaragua and Panama.
Under the theme of International Collaboration, the event provided a unique opportunity for participants (primarily from the Latin America region) to discuss cancer control issues and was organized in four main sessions, including improving and sustaining prevention in cancer control; mobilizing society for effective cancer control; improving population health by using data and evidence to support policy and programs; and improving integrated approaches to cancer treatment and care. In the final session, IAEA-sponsored participant, Dr. Kofi Nyarko from the Ghana Health Service, delivered his presentation on Cancer Control in Ghana: Experience as a PACT Model Demonstration Site (PMDS). In response to the comprehensive cancer control recommendations after receiving an imPACT mission, Ghana established the National Cancer Control Steering Committee. Further to its appointment as a PMDS, the country has established several international partnerships and has received US $13.5 million in long-term loans from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Arab Bank Country Collaboration for Economic Development in Africa, with support from PACT.
"Ghana has achieved important milestones in cancer control, thanks to international collaboration," said Dr. Nyarko in his presentation. In his talk, Nyarko highlighted the role of IAEA/PACT in the expansion of radiotherapy and nuclear medicine services at two teaching hospitals in the country and the National Strategy for Cancer Control 2012-2016.
The Conference was honoured with the presence of HE Ollanta Humala, President of Peru and provided a good forum to foster collaboration and networking with Member States. IAEA/PACT representatives used the opportunity to hold preparatory conversations for the upcoming imPACT mission in Peru in 2014.
imPACT Mission: Through PACT, the IAEA helps Member States optimizing the investments made in cancer control through the imPACT Review, a cancer control assessment tool. imPACT Reviews help countries to swiftly and efficiently respond to the cancer crisis by providing an evaluation of a country's readiness to implement cancer control programmes, completing an assessment of the national cancer burden and providing recommendations on developing the cancer control capacity.
PMDS: PACT Model Demonstration Sites (PMDS) are pilot sites in IAEA Member States that aim at demonstrating the effectiveness of evidence-based strategies as well as the benefits of synergic partnerships to advance in comprehensive cancer capacity building. As each country has its unique public health challenges, PMDS projects are based upon prior assessment of national cancer control capacity through imPACT to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement of cancer management.