FACT SHEET: Cancer Moonshot Announces New Actions Aimed to Reduce the Cancer Burden in Africa as Part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
The Cancer Moonshot highlights bold deliverables and new announcements from U.S. departments and agencies and the private sector of over $300 million to drastically improve cancer outcomes in Africa
When President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden reignited the Cancer Moonshot in February, they set ambitious, achievable goals: to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years, and improve the experience of people and families living with and surviving cancer, ultimately ending cancer as we know it today. They called for everyone to do their part including federal agencies and departments, private companies, health care providers, patient groups, philanthropies, and more.
While the immediate goals are domestic, the ambitions of the Cancer Moonshot extend far beyond the borders of the United States, especially as the burden of cancer falls heavily to lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where 80% of global cancer deaths occur. International work as part of the Cancer Moonshot is focused on equity and collaboration, thereby increasing access to prevention, screening, treatment, and care for everyone facing a cancer diagnosis and their families around the world.
For decades, the United States has partnered with African nations to meet shared health challenges, working together to invest billions of dollars and saving countless lives. However, despite much progress, non-communicable diseases (NCDS) like cancer are now estimated to lead all causes of death across the African continent. A new Lancet Oncology commission for sub-Saharan Africa estimates more than one million cancer deaths will occur per year in those countries by 2040. There are actions we can take to prevent this outcome. For example, cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. With preventative vaccines for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) for girls and boys along with screening and early detection for cervical cancer, especially in women living with HIV who have up to a 6-fold higher risk of developing cervical cancer, we can change the direction and end cancer in countries in Africa as we know it. This and other work build on broadly adopted global goals to decrease the impact of cancer, with a focus on delivering better outcomes for childhood cancers, eliminating cervical cancer, decreasing the devastating impact of breast cancer, and to expand cancer prevention and early detection.
New Actions as Part of U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
As part of the President’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the First Lady convened a conversation with the spouses of African leaders on “Breaking Down Barriers to Cancer Care for Young Women and Girls”, led by Ambassador John Nkengasong, Coordinator of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In addition, leaders across U.S. departments and agencies and the private sector have demonstrated unwavering commitment to improve cancer outcomes in countries in Africa through a number of new announcements and commitments. These efforts include strengthening domestic public health infrastructure, building resilient health systems, investing in health workers (see more here), as well as funding for robust and impactful initiatives across the African continent on cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and research, totaling approximately $200 million. These new efforts from agencies and departments include:
- support for the design and implementation of new, pragmatic technological interventions, clinical trial development, research centers, and the strengthening of institutional capacity for global cancer research in countries in Africa, by the National Cancer Institute (NCI);
- funding for high-risk and high-gain cancer research projects, filling existing research gaps related to prostate cancer, by the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP);
- investments from the State Department and the U.S. Department of Energy to support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rays of Hope initiative to expand access to life-saving cancer radiotherapy treatments in countries in Africa;
- continued efforts from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to integrate cervical cancer screening and treatment of pre-cancer as routine care for HIV-positive women under the Go Further Initiative, a collaboration with the George W. Bush Institute, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
These actions are just a few examples of support from the United States to decrease the burden of cancer in countries in Africa.
The private sector has also stepped up, responding with approximately $130 million in new announcements. This includes:
- capacity strengthening and support for over 100 cancer centers across the African continent;
- providing access to medications with an investment of approximately $50 million impacting about 20,000 children and adolescents over a 5-year period, while alleviating medicine shortages through collaboration;
- improving health care professionals’ knowledge and skills in cancer care and prevention;
- procurement of linear accelerators to provide access to cancer care in some countries for the first time;
- building genomic registries to accelerate cancer research to uncover precision drug and diagnostic targets that will be effective in more diverse populations; and
- initiatives to help achieve the World Health Organization (WHO) targets to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.
To add your story, ideas, or new actions and collaborations domestically or globally, engage with us at: whitehouse.gov/cancermoonshot.
Renewed Commitments from the United States to Combat Cancer Across the Continent of Africa:
Department of Defense Funds Prostate Cancer Research in Countries in Africa
The Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs’ Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) has committed approximately $8 million for four awards to support cancer research efforts across the African continent over the last three years. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in men and is the second most common cause of male death from cancer. The release of the Fiscal Year 2021 Health Equity and Research Outcomes Improvement Consortium (HEROIC) Award mechanism emphasized the PCRP’s commitment to advance health equity and reduce disparities. In FY23, two HEROIC awardees conducting research efforts in countries in Africa will be eligible to receive additional funding during Phase 2 of the HEROIC Award.
National Cancer Institute Commits to Supporting New Cancer Technologies across Africa
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) commits up to $60 million for the recently launched next phase of the Affordable Cancer Technologies (ACT) Program which supports multidisciplinary research teams in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa to adapt, engineer, and apply new technologies for global cancer control that are cost-effective. There is a need to develop and test pragmatic translational technologies for cancer control with potential for rapid scale-up globally, particularly in low-resource settings. This will extend the program through 2028, with the next round of new awards anticipated in spring 2023.
NCI also supports trans-National Institutes of Health (NIH) programs focused on innovative mobile health technologies. The NIH Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation (DSI-Africa) commits up to $11 million for new projects beginning in 2023 extending through 2025, with the next round of 6 new awards anticipated in fall 2023. This is following $75 million in commitments from NIH that have been awarded in 2021.
National Cancer Institute Extends Support for Cancer Implementation Science in Countries in Africa
NCI commits up to $57.5 million to advance methods to promote the adoption and integration of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies into routine health care and public health settings to improve population health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While there are effective interventions across the cancer care continuum to reduce the global cancer burden, LMICs face important challenges implementing evidenced-based cancer control interventions. Since 2019 NCI has invested in implementation science initiatives including projects in Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia, and will extend those through 2027, with 4 new implementation science center awards anticipated in summer 2023.
National Cancer Institute launches the HIV/Cervical Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Network (CASCADE) to Tackle Cervical Cancer Burden in Africa
NCI has established and commits $25 million to a new clinical trials network focused on optimizing the cervical cancer screening, management, and precancer treatment cascade. The network includes partnerships between U.S. research institutions and clinical trials sites in Botswana, Kenya, and Uganda, which are countries that all face high HIV- and cervical cancer-burden. Women living with HIV have up to a 6-fold higher risk for developing cervical cancer than HIV-uninfected women. To help address this increasing burden, the CASCADE clinical trials will evaluate the clinical effectiveness of cervical cancer prevention interventions in local environments, while gathering crucial information to inform implementation and scale-up. CASCADE engages partners in the United States and across the globe in a shared decision-making framework through a network steering committee, and complementary responsibilities in all steps from clinical trial conceptualization, protocol development, conduct, completion, and dissemination. The network will contribute evidence to inform clinical practice guidelines and improve implementation of cervical cancer control for women living with HIV globally. NCI commits up to $25 million to CASCADE beginning in 2022 extending through 2027, with the next round of 5 new clinical trial site awards (to join 3 African clinical trial sites already supported) anticipated in summer 2023.
National Cancer Institute Supports HIV- and AIDS -Associated Malignancy Research in Countries in Africa to Address the Increased Burden of HIV- and AIDS-Associated Cancers
NCI commits $48.5 million to support HIV-Associated Malignancy Research Centers including multiple institutions and investigators from the United States and across the African continent working collaboratively to conduct research that is locally relevant in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Countries in Africa are experiencing an increasing burden of HIV-associated cancers, in part due to improved HIV treatment which has reduced infectious complications and increased life expectancy for people living with HIV. The next round of 3-4 new awards are anticipated in early 2023.
NCI has also committed to support clinical trial activities across all U.S. and international sites as part of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC), a multicenter clinical trials network established in 1995 to conduct state-of-the-art clinical trials to treat and prevent cancers in people living with HIV. Initially focused on studies at 32 U.S. sites, in recent years the AMC has expanded to include clinical trial sites including Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The AMC also has a career enhancement program to train future clinical trialists focused on HIV-associated cancers.
National Cancer Institute Strengthens Institutional Capacity for Global Cancer Research in Countries in Africa
NCI commits to diversify the global cancer research workforce and strengthen institutional capacity to support cohorts of next generation cancer researchers in LMICs. Research training programs co-created by academic institutions in LMICs working with NCI-designated cancer centers will provide institutional support, mentorship, training, networking, and career development support tailored to local needs and interests, including dedicated training in patient-reported outcomes, implementation research, cancer genomics, cancer epidemiology, and bioinformatics. In addition to broader institutional support, NCI will also provide dedicated support at the individual level to early career African researchers through the Beginning Investigator Grant for Catalytic Research (BIG CAT) program in collaboration with the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) and American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), as well as through co-funding support for career development programs administered by the NIH Fogarty International Center. The NCI has committed nearly $11 million to the Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Global Cancer Research program initiated in 2021 extending through 2027, supporting training efforts in Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia.
State Department and Department of Energy Announce $4 Million in Funding to Build New Capacities to Detect and Treat Cancer in Countries in Africa
The U.S. Departments of State and Energy announce an additional $4 million in support to Rays of Hope, a flagship initiative established by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assist developing countries to build national capacities around detecting and treating cancer. These funds expand on a $23 million investment and will be used in African nations, increasing access to nuclear medicine and safe and secure radiotherapy to cancer patients. This will include providing packages of equipment, including medical linear accelerators, and training to help deliver nuclear medicine and radiotherapy, a form of cancer treatment that delivers radiation directly to cancer cells.
U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to Provide Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention, Detection and Treatment for HIV-Positive Women in Countries in Africa
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), implemented by the whole of U.S. government, is America’s commitment to ﬁghting the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. Since Fiscal year 2018, PEPFAR has invested over $160 million on cervical cancer prevention among women living with HIV and integrates cervical cancer screening and treatment of pre-cancer as routine care for women with HIV infection under the Go Further Initiative, a collaboration with the George W. Bush Institute, Merck, Roche and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Through this work, the United States is dedicated to ending cervical cancer and AIDS and creating a healthier future for women across the continent of Africa. Go Further invests in partner countries to raise awareness about cervical cancer by engaging and mobilizing communities of women affected by HIV, integrating and scaling up cervical cancer screening and treatment, and increasing access to modern technologies within existing HIV-treatment and women’s health programs. To date, over 5.5 million cervical cancer screens have been conducted among women living with HIV since 2018, and over 200,000 have received treatment for pre-invasive cervical lesions.
Private Sector Response to Improving Cancer Outcomes in Countries in Africa:
Improving Access to Cancer Screening and Prevention
- AstraZeneca extends its Accelerate Change Together for Cancer Care program to sustainably improve cancer care ecosystems across the African continent. AstraZeneca’s Accelerate Change Together (ACT) for Cancer Care Africa will enable African stakeholders to build local capacity and capabilities, enhance screening and diagnosis, increase disease awareness, and empower patients to make informed decisions about their care. Through this program, AstraZeneca commits to supporting more than 100 oncology centers across countries in Africa- including Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, and Morocco — providing training for more than 10,000 health care professionals, and enabling screening and diagnosis for over one million patients across three major cancer types: lung, breast, and prostate.
- BD announces support for Kenya to achieve cervical cancer elimination by 2030. BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and the Ministry of Health Kenya will soon launch a pilot-for-scale oncology partnership aimed at providing end-to-end cervical cancer screening within the public sector. This program will create awareness at a community level, improve access to HPV screening, early diagnosis, and timely linkage to care in order to reach Kenyan leaderships’ goals to reach 90% of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by age 15, 70% of women to be screened by 35 years of age, and 90% of women who are identified with pre-cancer or cancer to receive treatment.
- Botswana-Rutgers Partnership for Health pilots a rapid “screen and treat” program for breast cancer to close the breast cancer screening gap in Botswana. This collaborative pilot between the Office of the President of Botswana, Botswana’s Ministry of Health, the University of Botswana, Rutgers Global Health Institute, and experts from across Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, will evaluate evidence-based interventions for breast cancer screening in an asymptomatic female population across 10 primary clinics in the Serowe region of Botswana. This new initiative will train nurses to administer clinical breast examinations and to provide breast self-care education to women in the hopes of impacting global goals to decrease the burden of deaths from breast cancer.
- Elekta Foundation launches a new model in cervical cancer prevention and treatment, that can be scalable in Rwanda. In collaboration with the Rwanda Ministry of Health (RMoH), the Rwanda Biomedical Center, Clinton Health Access Initiative, and the Society for Family Health, a pilot campaign is being initiated to rapid-test approximately 20,000 women in rural villages for HPV, the virus responsible for cervical cancer, and to immediately treat those with precancerous lesions. Patients diagnosed with cervical cancer will receive advanced treatments, and a feasibility study of community-based palliative care is on the way. The RMoH will adopt the tested model to enhance its programs to support the WHO’s goal of eliminating cervical cancer by 2030.
- Revitalash Cosmetics and City of Hope’s Ethiopia Breast Cancer Initiative announce support for breast cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment for the women of Ethiopia. This new investment from Revitalash in City of Hope’s Breast Cancer Initiative will improve breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in Hawassa, Ethiopia which serves 23 million people. The partnership will improve diagnosis by training laboratory technicians and providers in tissue processing and analysis, building pathology capacity in the region. It will also strengthen breast cancer detection and treatment by helping to fund a nursing education pilot program to train 20–30 nurses, aiming to scale up and expand into a train-the-trainer program in 12 sub-Saharan African countries, eventually reaching approximately 360 nurses.
- The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announces a formal agreement with the WHO to establish a new international collaboration to reduce the global burden of women’s cancers. This new collaboration will bring together the WHO’s Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center(MD Anderson) to support cancer-related efforts, including providing technical consultations, participating in working groups and publishing peer-reviewed scientific articles that contribute to the understanding of breast and cervical cancers. MD Anderson’s experts will lend their knowledge and expertise to provide training materials for the implementation of WHO cancer initiatives. The agreement builds on more than three years of collaboration between the two institutions to promote their shared efforts in advancing global cancer initiatives in women’s cancers, including breast and cervical cancers, in countries such as Mozambique.
Increasing Capacity for Cancer Research, Infrastructure, and Training
- Allied Against Cancer implements the ChemoSafe program to protect oncology workers who handle hazardous chemotherapies. Allied Against Cancer, a multi-sector coalition comprised of the African Cancer Coalition (ACC), National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), American Cancer Society (ACS), and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) launch ChemoSafe, a comprehensive approach to promote the safe handling and administration of chemotherapy and quality service provision to patients in sub-Saharan Africa. The project engages all healthcare and facility workers with the potential for interaction with chemotherapy, such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses, students and trainees, cleaners and laundry workers to minimize the risk and improve outcomes for people undergoing treatment.
- Amazon Web Services commits resources to reduce health disparities and promote health equity across the African continent. Amazon Web Services (AWS) as part of its global $40 million Health Equity Initiative will bridge the gaps in cancer care outcomes in underserved regions. Through this program, AWS has supported Seattle-based startup Hurone AI, which is democratizing access to high-quality cancer prevention and care by building artificial intelligence-powered applications derived from data sources and algorithms from people of African descent. As oncologists are scarce in many parts of Africa, Hurone AI’s Gukiza application enables oncologists to provide remote patient monitoring and tele-oncology care, starting in Rwanda. Powered by AWS, the Gukiza app allows oncologists to communicate with patients using digital devices and text messages, increasing the ability to provide care to more patients in more places.
In addition, AWS customer South Africa-based Hyrax Biosciences, another recipient of support via AWS’ Health Equity Initiative, has developed a genomic sequencing diagnostic deployed in Africa. Because the Hyrax technology is built with cloud services, use of AWS enables the secure scaling of the technology to different types of tests globally.
- AstraZeneca will establish a new liver cancer research partnership in countries in Africa to accelerate improved understanding and care for a form of liver cancer. In partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Microsoft and leading healthcare professionals in countries in Africa, AstraZeneca will participate in a new partnership which will establish dynamic registries to improve outcomes for people diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCC represents the fourth most common cancer across the African continent and an area of significant unmet need.
- Project ECHO partners with leaders across the African continent to establish at least 30 new programs to improve cancer care. Project ECHO will bring improved cancer care across the African continent through the establishment of at least 30 new ECHO hubs across the cancer continuum of care over the next five years. Project ECHO works by connecting oncology expertise virtually with healthcare providers in medically-underserved regions across the United States and the world. They will train new hubs and provide them with technical assistance and expertise on how to facilitate communities of practice and operate robust virtual learning communities. Project ECHO will also provide a robust suite of technology tools, including Zoom video conferencing, a cloud repository of curriculum and best practices sourced from experts in their global network, and a new iECHO platform that allows for easy attendance tracking, evaluation, and communication with participants to build successful communities of practice.
- Uganda Cancer Institute-Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center launches “Cancer Genomics and Genomic Data Science for East Africa,” and additional programs to train East African researchers in cancer genomics and foster future researchers. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and the Uganda Cancer Institute will create a new training “Cancer Genomics and Genomic Data Science for East Africa” program. This program is funded at $1.25 million over five years and builds upon research that explores the genomics of breast cancer, lung cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Kaposi sarcoma. There is an urgent need for laboratory-based scientists in the fields of genomics and genomic data science to transform clinical oncology in Uganda and East Africa. This work could lead to advances in therapeutic approaches and diagnostics to deliver precision medicine to LMICs. Additionally, with a total investment of $1.36 million over five years, a second research training program aims to support masters and doctoral training, prepare fellows to pursue independent research funding, and will include the establishment of a Peer-Mentoring Career Development program. Five Ugandan fellows will serve as principal investigators on one of the Collaboration’s studies. Through The Adult Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program, with funding from the African Development Bank to the East Africa Centre of Excellence in Oncology at the Uganda Cancer Institute, this program trains specialists who then train their colleagues in clinical care and research and mentor new oncologists, hematologists, and other healthcare workers. Six Ugandan fellows have already graduated from the program, and recruitment is underway to enroll future cohorts from East Africa. Collectively, these training initiatives highlight a commitment to build capacity to address the global cancer burden and translating research findings into clinical care and action.
- Yemaachi will identify novel targets to diagnose and treat cancer and will provide diagnostic services to children and adults with cancer across the continent of Africa. Working with clinical partners across eight African countries and using a proprietary AI-enabled bio-discovery pipeline to uncover the next generation of precision drug and diagnostic targets that will be effective regardless of a patient’s ethnicity, Yemaachi commits to sequencing over 1000 genomic samples by the middle of 2023 working towards the goal of building the world’s largest genomic database of cancers among people from African countries by 2024. Yemaachi also commits to sequencing every pediatric cancer case that presents in Ghana over a 5-year period, with an estimated investment of $3 million.
- BIO Ventures for Global Health commits to forging five new African-led research projects. Working with African Access Initiative (AAI) partners, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) will implement cancer research projects that are determined and led by African oncologists and conducted in collaboration with U.S. cancer experts. Through its African Consortium for Cancer Clinical Trials (AC3T) program, BVGH will facilitate five research projects, build capacity to conduct rigorous clinical research at 50 African sites, promote African primary investigator’s research interests on the AC3T platform, and coordinate the implementation of observational clinical studies. In addition to building AC3T sites’ research capacity, BVGH will map the regulatory pathway in five AAI countries. All clinical studies involving cancer drugs will include development of market access pathways by BVGH.
- Moffitt Cancer Center together with University of Ghana work to strengthen and expand capacity to conduct cancer research in Ghana. With a total of over $1.3 million invested over the next five years, approximately 125-150 fellows and junior faculty will be trained, and a sustainable cancer research training program embedded at the school. By engaging experts from multiple disciplines, the program will strengthen Ghana’s existing national and multidisciplinary cancer-specific research teams by focusing on two hormone-related cancers (breast and prostate) and two HPV-related cancers (cervical and head and neck), all of which were identified as priorities in the Ghana National Cancer Control Plan.
- Northwestern University West Africa-U.S. Cancer Prevention and Control Initiative invests to build sustainable research and capacity for African scientists. The Northwestern University West Africa-U.S. Cancer Prevention and Control Initiative is pursuing the discovery and implementation of new and existing evidence-based screening, diagnostic, and treatment tools for the prevention and control of Infection-Associated Cancer (IAC) in West Africa. These programs range from training programs for early career West African scientists in order to build capacity and conduct cancer research, to implementation science projects to assess needs and barriers to implement both new and existing evidence-based cancer screening and early detection tools, for a total of $14.2 million in funding. In combination, these initiatives and projects are building sustainable research and training capacity in multiple disciplines relevant to infection-associated cancer research thereby empowering Malian, Nigerian, and other West African science leaders.
- Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center launch a cancer genomics study to characterize novel genetic, molecular, and social determinants of cancer across populations of African ancestry. In collaboration with Pfizer’s Institute of Translational Equitable Medicine, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center will build a clinical genomic registry of biological specimens accompanied by epidemiological, behavioral, and clinical data from African ancestry patients diagnosed with breast and prostate cancer. The goal is to better understand the drivers of health inequities to improve cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment efforts across the continent using data collected at enrollment sites that include Benin, Burkina Faso, Kenya, and Namibia, in Africa.
Building Cancer Care Workforce and Delivery in Countries in Africa
- Bayer partners with the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population as part of the “100 Million Healthy Lives” Presidential Initiative to support access to liver cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment. A partnership between Bayer and the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population to achieve President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s goals for “100 Million Healthy Lives” will work in three ways to improve patient outcomes. The first will be to strengthen the healthcare system to ensure consistent quality of care, and better use of data for decision-making in treatment and care. The second will be to support the development of healthcare service capacities through medical education and training programs. The third will be to raise patient awareness through education in order to develop knowledge of cancer management and create demand for quality treatment and care.
- BIO Ventures for Global Health will train an additional 5,000 African healthcare professionals in the management of cancer patients. BIO Ventures for Global Health(BVGH) will leverage its network of more than 30 U.S. academic cancer centers to engage and work with faculty to develop and customize training programs that address the needs and priorities of hospitals and healthcare professionals in countries in Africa. Training programs will span on-site/hands-on practicums, international fellowships, and multi-week digital courses, to increase the knowledge and confidence of Africa’s cohort of oncology healthcare professionals. The areas of focus will range from early cancer screening, detection and diagnostic pathology and imaging to safe pharmacy practices, treatment, and care over the next three years. Training topics and programs will be determined by African Access Initiative (AAI) hospital teams and each hospitals’ individual needs assessment. In addition, pre-course surveys will be conducted with program registrants to refine the course materials and prepare trainers. Each training program will be evaluated to measure the impact and knowledge gained as well as to identify further training needs.
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Partners In Health have teamed up with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and University of Pennsylvania to expand access to lifesaving cancer treatment. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Partners In Health have teamed up with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and University of Pennsylvania to provide enhanced staffing, education and capacity building as well as rotations of medical students from the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) at the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence. This oncology care delivery system at the Butaro Public District Hospital (BDH) in rural Rwanda has been established over the last decade and has provided free cancer treatment for over 14,700 patients. UGHE has launched an Institute of Global Health Equity Research, with the goal of expanding evidence generation and research opportunities such that the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence model can inform how other countries in Africa can expand access to lifesaving cancer treatment to their most vulnerable populations.
- Global Health Catalyst to establish a U.S.-Africa Center of Excellence in Cancer Care, Research, and Education in Tanzania with an initial commitment of over $5 million in funding. Working together with the Tanzania Embassy in Washington D.C., the new U.S.-Africa Center of Excellence in Cancer Care, Research, and Education in Tanzania (the Center) will implement telehealth with support of diaspora organizations and oncology faculty at leading U.S. institutions to substantially increase access to care and to make progress on the goal to eliminate cervical cancer in Tanzania. To help accelerate cancer research, the Center will focus on supporting multi-center clinical trials involving leading U.S. institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, Harvard Medical School institutions, and the University of Pennsylvania, working with Tanzanian institutions, to include Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ocean Road Cancer Institute, and Bugando Medical Center. This work will involve radiotherapy and immunotherapy with a digital health platform for data sharing and focus on capacity-building in oncology with courses co-taught by faculty from U.S. and African Institutions and diaspora via a hybrid approach on the global oncology university education platform.
- Roche and Jhpiego, a global health nonprofit and John Hopkins University affiliate, support implementation of sustainable cervical and breast cancer programs. Roche and Jhpiego team up to help prevent or reduce the morbidity and mortality of women facing breast or cervical cancer in countries in Africa, taking a woman-centered approach. In the upcoming phase two of the initiative, this partnership will build the capacity of primary and district facilities, and put in place a networked patient continuum with navigation support for referrals, inclusive of lab referrals, minimizing loss to follow up for women in Ghana to receive excellent cancer care. This builds on a kickoff in Ghana in close collaboration with the Government of Ghana to foster an integrated, resource-stratified women’s cancer care continuum in support of the Ghana National Care and Control Plan. Phase one of the project is serving as both stakeholder engagement and foundational groundwork for developing a cancer care framework and sustainable model.
- Botswana-Rutgers Partnership for Health debuts the Kitso Oncology Workforce Training Program. Rutgers Global Health Institute with support from Bristol Myers Squibb, and in partnership with the Botswana Ministry of Health and the University of Botswana, along with experts from across Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, will provide an in-demand education and training initiative that responds to the specialty workforce needs in oncology in Botswana and countries in Africa. The Kitso Oncology program will help to improve oncology and non-oncology health care professionals’ knowledge and skills in cancer care and prevention through a novel, hybrid oncology course on clinical management. In addition, the program aims to strengthen partnerships with the African Ministries of Health and academic institutions in sub-Saharan Africa to enhance the skills and capacity of public sector health care professionals in oncology. Furthermore, this program serves to translate clinical science to evidence-based practices applicable for specific African settings, and to tailor to the unique needs of health care professionals, in each African setting.
- Varian, a Siemens Healthineers Company, provides increased access to care by supporting the establishment of two new comprehensive cancer centers in Nigeria. Varian and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) will sign a Letter of Intent for a strategic partnership in oncology to further increase access to care across the country, procure two linear accelerators, and to establish new cancer centers while also focusing on capacity building and digitally-enabled technologies to address human resource gaps.
Advancing Support, Research and Treatment Access for Pediatric Cancer Patients
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is investing $200 million in the Global Platform for Access to Childhood Cancer Medicines. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (St. Jude) is investing in the Global Platform for Access to Childhood Cancer Medicines (the Platform), a first-of-its-kind effort created in partnership with the WHO to provide an uninterrupted supply of quality-assured childhood cancer medicines to LMICs. This investment includes approximately $50 million directed to Africa, which will impact about 20,000 children and adolescents on the continent over a 5-year period, beginning in 2023. In coordination with the WHO Africa Regional Office, St. Jude is identifying the first pilot countries across the African continent that will participate in the Platform. Those countries will initially receive medicines at no cost as part of this initiative, the largest financial commitment for a global effort in childhood cancer medicines to-date. This new Platform aims to provide safe and effective cancer medicines to approximately 120,000 children in 50 countries globally by 2027.
- Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine launched Global HOPE (Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence) to improve the diagnosis and treatment of children with cancer and blood diseases. Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine launch Global HOPE, a capacity-building initiative to train African doctors and nurses to provide the needed expertise to improve overall survival of children with cancer and to carry on lifesaving work in a sustainable way. Partnering with Ministries of Health and local academic medical institutions, and with an initial $50 million investment from Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Global HOPE has established treatment and training centers in Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda, as well as programs in Rwanda and South Africa. To date, Global HOPE has reached more than 15,000 children and trained nearly 5,900 healthcare workers, and received support from Direct Relief, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Sky High for Kids, and Lions Clubs International Foundation. Over the next five years, Global HOPE will develop a network of centers, training optimally staffed teams to provide care for children with cancer.
- American Childhood Cancer Organization provides financial support to identify barriers to accessing childhood cancer essential medicines in East Africa. The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) will fund the development of an expanded African continental procurement policy to ensure the elimination of drug stock-outs, and the assurance of the affordability of medicines, stable treatment delivery, and equitable access to vital childhood cancer therapies throughout Africa. The targeted countries include Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The work will kick off with a 2023 stakeholder meeting at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala, to inform policy-making toward optimizing cancer drug availability and affordability in an effort to improve childhood cancer outcomes in the region.
- Global Pediatric Brain Tumor Network implements a new initiative which aims to create an equitable ecosystem of care for pediatric brain cancer patients. As part of the Global Pediatric Brain Tumor Network, Bayer, the National Brain Tumor Society, Duke University and other partners and institutions using technology from the NIH will enable hospitals across the continent of Africa to connect with U.S. hospitals and biomedical innovators to help match pediatric patients to neuro-oncologists, clinical trials, potential treatments, and importantly to organizations that may be able to help close geographic, financial, and cultural barriers. In order to achieve this outcome, cancer treatment centers in the United States will be connected with partner centers in countries in Africa as part of the global network to provide a continuum between clinical care and clinical research and also utilize a common digital platform for collaboration. A key mission of the network is to generate high-quality clinical data at the partner centers and utilize the data to better understand factors that contribute to improved patient experience and patient outcomes. Furthermore, the network also aims to contribute to the acceleration of new drug development by participating in multinational pediatric clinical trials and thereby enable earlier access to newer and more innovative therapies for patients in the United States, Africa, and other partner countries.
Making Cancer Treatments Accessible:
- Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) through the “Innovative Cancer Medicines” initiative that includes Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and other partners, commits to demonstration projects in sub-Saharan Africa where patients will be enrolled and local stakeholders in each country will select the respective indications based on local population needs. BMS has committed to providing funding, Abraxane and/or Opdivo free of charge as needed per indication, and other assistance such as safety training. The initial pilots are planned for Uganda and Nigeria.
- Pfizer, through an Accord for a Healthier World, will provide current and future patented medicines available in the United States or European Union on a not-for-profit basis, including ten oncology medicines. The Accord for a Healthier World (the Accord) is focused on closing the health equity gap and working to enable greater access to innovation in healthcare for 1.2 billion people living in 45 lower-income countries. Through the Accord, Pfizer has committed to providing all of its current and future patented medicines and vaccines, available in the United States or European Union on a not-for-profit basis to government-funded public channels in Accord countries. This includes ten oncology medicines used to treat certain types of breast, lung and hematologic cancers. Leveraging an institutional framework and working with in-country facility level leaders, Pfizer will also work with multi-sector partners to identify and address barriers that limit access to these cancer treatments, including diagnostics, training and education. Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda have committed to join the Accord and Rwanda has already received the first delivery of more than 1,500 treatment courses of medicines and vaccines for the treatment of certain cancers, infectious and inflammatory diseases and medical training sessions have been held with local healthcare providers.
- Cures Within Reach expands its capacity building for clinical trials in countries in Africa. Cures Within Reach will fund additional oncology clinical repurposing trials, spotlighting underserved LMIC-based clinical researchers through its Repurposing Grants for the Rest of the World (ReGRoW) initiative and collaborating with other nonprofits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) aligned with these goals. ReGRoW provides repurposing research grants to clinicians and researchers to build capacity for clinical research. This is especially important as access to medicines can be limited across the African continent and this direct funding allows researchers to solve local health challenges at a local level.
- BIO Ventures for Global Health expands access to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved cancer drugs to treat an additional 10,000 African cancer patients over the next three years. In collaboration with international pharmaceutical companies and U.S. cancer centers, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) will apply its demand-driven access approach to forecast drug needs, determine and align on budgets, co-develop patient access and payor models, and coordinate procurement of drugs from Port to Patient to ensure access to cancer drugs for an additional 10,000 cancer patients across the continent of Africa over the next three years.
- The Cancer Access Partnership (CAP) from Allied Against Cancer will offer 30 high-quality medicines at access prices to 25 countries in Africa starting in early 2023. Allied Against Cancer, a multi-sector coalition comprised of the African Cancer Coalition (ACC), National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), American Cancer Society (ACS), and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), hosts the CAP program with pharmaceutical companies including Biocon Biologics, Novartis, Pfizer, to offer world-class medications, including key targeted therapies in oncology, at affordable prices to treatment centers across sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, Allied Against Cancer works with those who purchase medications to accurately plan and budget for their procurement, based on best-practice guidelines.
- Allied Against Cancer will implement 55 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Harmonized Guidelines for Sub-Sharan Africa by early 2023. New guidelines from Allied Against Cancer, a multi-sector coalition comprised of the African Cancer Coalition (ACC), National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), American Cancer Society (ACS), and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), will bring the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Harmonized Guidelines for sub-Saharan Africa to cover more than 90% of cancer incidence in the region, including five pediatric cancer guidelines. These guidelines, which are an innovative approach by African oncologists and health ministries to optimize the organization and sharing of clinical information, are already adopted by six countries, comprising 43% of the continent’s population. Through this collaboration, African oncologists can focus on the pragmatic implementation of the project while working alongside partner organizations for coordination and management support.
Increasing Cancer Awareness and Education to Empower People
- BIO Ventures for Global Health, in collaboration with its partners, launches nationwide awareness campaigns targeting cancer patients and their caregivers. BIO Ventures Global Health (BVGH) will produce campaigns involving co-development of culturally appropriate and sensitive materials for dissemination through multiple, broad-reaching communication channels with an aim to reach 30 million individuals across the continent of Africa. Through patient-focused brochures, digital resources, and radio and media programming, cancer treatment pathways will be demystified and local support services will be highlighted and made available to patients and caregivers to improve and ease the patient experience as they navigate their complex treatment journeys.
- Allied Against Cancer announce the Treat the Pain program that will train more than 5,000 health workers in Africa to safely use opioids to treat cancer patients in pain. Allied Against Cancer, a multi-sector coalition comprised of the African Cancer Coalition (ACC), National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), American Cancer Society (ACS), and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), will provide technical support to improve patient access to necessary analgesics, with a focus on low and middle-income countries with high unmet need for pain relief.