The World Health Organization (WHO) has joined hands with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO), the world’s leading association of physicians and oncology professionals to develop and promote cancer care innovations worldwide.
The specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health has undertaken the move to overcome the prevailing inequities that continue in access to cancer care across the globe.
Over the past couple of decades, the arc of cancer control has differed. One path has attained enhancement through innovation and reliable access to the height quality care.
The other has been subjected improvised and declassed to inaccessible and poor quality care, emotional adversity financial instability. These overwhelming inequities in cancer care between and within the countries are gradually increasing.
The obvious difference is prevailing between high and low-income countries in the world. Extensive treatment is supposedly available in over 90 percent of high-income countries but in less than 15 percent of low-income countries.
It is specifically alarming in view of the fact the burden of cancer in low and middle-income countries is confident to double over the next couple of decades from 12 million cases per year to 20 million by 2040.
Furthermore, the coronavirus pandemic has aggravated pre-existing inequities in cancer care. Most of the country in the world has reported disruption in cancer care since 2020 with helpless populations and people who rely on fragile health systems suffering the most.
Every government has reached an agreement on the UN goals of attaining universal health coverage and decreasing premature mortality (before the age of 70) from non-transmissible diseases including cancer, but less than 10 percent of countries are on track to achieve the goals.
The speed of innovation in cancer care has been imposing, with a wealth of novel diagnostics, therapeutics, and big data. But, the world has not witnessed a similar rise in interest in the well-being of patients themselves.
Innovations in cancer care must contemplate shared community values and patient-relevant steps. Social innovations in cancer care that are ousted within communities, and lead to improved patient satisfaction, declined inequalities, and improved treatment completion.
Addresses need to incorporate community involvement strategies that increase health education and timely presentation, patient navigators who help the process from first contact with the health system to treatment initiation, and survivor networks that improve treatment achievement and well-being.
The new partnership will facilitate ASCO and WHO to improve a coordinated move to support WHO Member States and cancer centres with enhanced access to quality care by connecting facility-level quality upgrading activities with national strategies.
This will help go faster implementation of WHO cancer initiatives in cervix, breast, and childhood cancers.
Programme has been planned under the WHO–ASCO to build a partnership for developing evidence-based quality indicators to assess the quality of a facility’s care with a focus on breast cancer and palliative care and, scaling global best practices with an aim to advance innovation in improving quality of care.
WHO and ASCO will design and combine key understandings from stakeholders in their respective networks, including care providers, patients, researchers, and governmental authorities.
By influencing one another’s resources and building up networks and quality tools, WHO and ASCO can intensify efforts toward providing better-quality care to more patients with cancer around the globe.