Global Collaborative Approach Needed To Halt Cancer In Africa

Project Syndicate: The Cancer Threat to Africa’s Future
Danny A. Milner, Jr., chief medical officer of the American Society for Clinical Pathology

“…Just as the world united to help Africa beat infectious disease outbreaks, a similar collaborative approach is needed to halt the cancer crisis. … Building health-care systems that are capable of managing infectious diseases, while also providing quality cancer care, requires a significant investment in time, money, and expertise. Fortunately, Africa already has a head start. Past initiatives — like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the World Bank’s East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project — have greatly expanded the continent’s medical infrastructure. National efforts are also strengthening pharmaceutical supply chains, improving medical training, and increasing the quality of diagnostic networks. Still, Africans cannot face down this threat alone. … [S]uccess depends on coordination among African governments, health-service providers, drug makers, and non-governmental organizations. … [G]eography should never be the deciding factor in patients’ fight to survive the disease. Cancer has been Africa’s silent killer for far too long, and the global health community must no longer remain quiet in the face of this crisis” (3/2).