Background and Context:
In Kenya, cancer accounts for 7% of annual mortality. The Kenyan Ministry of Health (MOH) has a commitment to reduce cancer mortality as evidenced in their National Cancer Control Strategy (2011-2016). The U.S. government has a significant public health and research presence in Kenya, including investments from multiple agencies totaling over $900M from FY2010-2012 (1). However, there is often lack of coordination among organizations working in cancer research and control.
Workshop aims were: 1) Leverage existing infrastructure to further the aims of cancer control planning and implementation; 2) Create connections among external partners who have infrastructure needs; and 3) Integrate disparate programs into larger cancer control planning efforts.
The NCI Center for Global Health (CGH), working with the MOH, sought to improve coordination to better contribute to overall cancer control planning efforts. To do this, CGH and the MOH collaboratively executed an action-focused workshop that brought together over 80 stakeholders from leading cancer research and control institutions in Kenya, as well as international partners.
Actionable recommendations from the workshop include: the establishment and strengthening of a population-based national cancer registry; strengthening of training for community health workers, oncology nurses, and pathologists; and strengthening of the country’s referral process, including the leveraging of existing resources to improve access to cancer care.
Outcomes/What was learned:
Political will to advance the cancer control agenda, and willingness of stakeholders to work together to identify priorities and actionable items, is critical to the success of a National Cancer Research and Control Stakeholder Meeting. Such a meeting can be instrumental to build on existing infrastructure and in-country networks, and create partnerships among external partners. Most importantly, such meetings ensure that investments from international partners in integrated into larger cancer control planning efforts prioritized by MOH.