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(Photo: PAHO/WHO/David F. Spitz)

Agreement signed to strengthen cancer prevention

May 2, 2024

WASHINGTON, CMC – The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has signed an agreement with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas to strengthen cancer prevention and control initiatives across the Americas, including the Caribbean. 

The agreement was signed during a ceremony here on Wednesday with leaders from both organisations.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston ranks as one of the world’s most respected centres focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention.

As part of the new agreement, PAHO said it will work with MD Anderson “to support the implementation of World Health Organisation (WHO) cancer initiatives in the Americas, to provide technical support for the organisation’s regional and country implementation and to build capacity to strengthen cancer programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Initiatives will include the Cervical Cancer Elimination Initiative and the Global Breast Cancer Initiative. 

“By advancing this important relationship with the Pan American Health Organisation, we are reaffirming MD Anderson’s commitment to furthering progress in cancer prevention and control efforts around the world,” said Dr. Peter WT Pisters, president of MD Anderson.

“This collaboration will help ensure more lives are saved as we work to accomplish our goal of Making Cancer History®.”

PAHO said it works with the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of its population. 

Founded in 1902, is the world’s oldest international public health agency. PAHO serves as the WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas and is the specialised health agency of the Inter-American System. 

“Over 1.5 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year in Latin America and the Caribbean. Survival can be improved with access to timely diagnosis and treatment. The joint efforts of PAHO and MD Anderson to strengthen cancer programmes will contribute to closing the gap in cancer care to ensure better health outcomes for all people,” said PAHO Director Dr. Jarbas Barbosa.

The new agreement builds on existing collaboration between MD Anderson and PAHO, and will “strengthen their shared commitment to advancing cancer prevention and care across the Americas.”

Some programmes include capacity-building initiatives, including breast-imaging and biopsy training programme for the Caribbean, alongside the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); and Project ECHO for Mammography Quality Improvement in The Caribbean (ECHO-MIMIC), which focuses on capacity-building for radiologists, technologists and physicists across 19 countries. 

“MD Anderson’s Strategic Plan, which calls for reaching more people and saving more lives, is advanced by aligning with others to provide expertise in cancer prevention, education, research and treatment in the community setting,” PAHO said. 

 Wednesday’s announcement extends MD Anderson’s commitment to this work, which includes its international collaboration to reduce the global burden of women’s cancers with the WHO and being named an IAEA Collaborating Centre.

(Photo: PAHO/WHO/David F. Spitz)

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