Background and Context: About 70% of cancer deaths globally occur in low to middle income countries (LMICs) where prioritization and allocation of resources to cancer care are often quite poor. In the absence of governmental focus on this problem, public-private partnerships may be an avenue to provide effective cancer control.
Aim: To establish collaborative cancer prevention and management facilities.
Strategy/Tactics: The Foundation for Cancer Care in West Africa (FCCWA), was established to stimulate the development of broad and effective partnerships between oncology professionals, private enterprise and academic institutions, locally and internationally. Capacity building, attraction of grant support, establishment of collaborative networks and the development of a privately-funded facility to provide clinical care were the initial chosen strategies.
Programme/Policy Process: Collaborations were established between oncology professionals at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Enugu, Nigeria and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Lagos, Nigeria. Cancer control workshops were conducted in Enugu in 2009 and in Lagos in 2013 with grant support from the UICC. A monthly tumor board conference was established at LASUTH in Lagos, and further capacity building is ongoing with grant support from the United States NCI. An outpatient oncology clinic in Lagos (Lakeshore Cancer Clinic), which is the first phase of a cancer center development plan has just been completed.
Outcomes/What was learned: The translation of cancer control knowledge from the academic realm to practical, community-level application requires immense collaborative efforts. In low to middle income countries, government institutions are often limited by political will, bureaucracy and financial resources. However, effective partnership between such institutions and private enterprises, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions can lead to tangible results and strides in cancer control. The use of creative healthcare financing models can serve as a catalyst to effect positive change.