The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that Arequipa was chosen as the tenth city to join the global network of cities of the City Cancer Challenge (C/Can) foundation, which -through collaborative work- seek to improve access to quality cancer care.
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In a statement, the minsa indicated that the ‘White City’ becomes the fifth city of the C/Can in Latin America, along with Asunción (Paraguay), Cali (Colombia), León (Mexico) and Porto Alegre (Brazil). 24% of the cities that responded to the call, issued in October 2020, came from Latin America, the region where C/Can has its greatest presence.
“The Cancer is a growing public health problem in Peru. The C/Can process presents an important opportunity to continue building on the momentum and commitment of the cancer law. Arequipa will generate learning and best practices for implementing the regulations of the National Cancer Law that can be replicated and scaled in other cities”, pointed out the director of Cancer Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health, Victor Palacios.
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According to him minsa, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the country, with approximately 35,000 deaths each year. According to GLOBOCAN 2020 estimates, nearly 70,000 new cases are expected this year, 6% more than in 2018.
“I want to welcome C/Can to Arequipa and applaud the political commitment assumed by the city authorities and the Peruvian Ministry of Health, in alliance with the Peruvian Society of Oncological Medicine and the Regional Institute of Neoplastic Diseases of the South (IREN – SUR), to work on strengthening the health system and improve access to quality cancer care in Arequipa”, said the executive director of C/Can, Susan Henshall.
In the next three months, Arequipa will work closely with the regional and global teams of C/Can to coordinate the various actions that will be carried out, while the guidelines, roles and responsibilities of all the key teams are developed, establishing a schedule of activities.
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The initiative will continue with the launch of the engagement process, in which the city must identify, plan and execute priority cancer care solutions over the course of two to three years.
Selection process of the participating cities
Nearly 50 civil society organizations supported Arequipa’s candidacy to join the initiative after the C/Can call held in October 2020. The application process was led by the Peruvian Society of Medical Oncology (SPOM) and the Ministry of Health, as well as the Population Registry of Cancer of Arequipa, the Chamber of Commerce, the Archbishopric, the Latin American Society of Pediatric Oncology, the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Peru, the Regional Institute of Neoplastic Diseases South (IREN-SUR), the hospitals of the Regional Government of Arequipa, Essalud, private clinics, the National Association of Pharmaceutical Laboratories and Roche Laboratories, among others.
Arequipa underwent a robust, transparent and diligent process over the course of 2021, allowing C/Can better understand the local cancer care landscape, engage with stakeholders, and assess to what extent the C/Can model could add value to ongoing care efforts in the city.
Other applicant cities around the world continue to go through the requirements, including on-site visits, which in some cases have been delayed by the pandemic. These cities will continue the process and new selections will be announced throughout 2022.
City Cancer Challenge
C/Can supports cities around the world in their work to improve access to quality and equitable cancer care. Since its launch in 2017, by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), it has developed a new model to address access to cancer care that, for the first time, harnesses the city as a key enabler in a response to cancer. health systems against this disease.
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