Institutional Strengthening for Planning and Monitoring of Cancer Control Programmes in Latin America
Improving the availability of information to support decision-making and policy development in cancer prevention and control
In the global framework of surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the countries committed, among other measures, to reduce mortality from NCDs by 25 percent by 2025 as well as having information on cancer incidence (World Health Organization, Surveillance Framework). In developing countries, there is a notable increase in the burden of cancer, which calls for the need to develop evidence-based control plans for the disease. In this regard, it is essential to have reliable information sources that would serve as a basis for the planning, monitoring and evaluation of policy implementation. Vital statistics provide mortality information, and population-based cancer registries are the main mechanism for obtaining information on cancer incidence and survival in the population. However, although there are population-based cancer registries in some countries, they have problems of sustainability, data quality, and capacity for analysis and production. Hence, less than 10 percent of the population in Latin America being covered by high-quality population-based cancer registries.
Towards a Solution
Supported by Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the ‘Generation of key information for planning and monitoring of cancer control programmes in Latin America’ aims to address the challenge above. This project seeks to strengthen local capacities to improve the coverage and quality of population-based cancer registries in five Latin American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay and Peru) by supporting the implementation of regional activities under the framework of the Global Initiative for the Improvement of Cancer Registries coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The project aims to make epidemiological information available for decision makers through the development of population-based cancer registries.
The development of activities for this project relied on experts led by Argentina and Colombia, with the enabling policy frameworks, developed capacities in cancer control and prevention, and experience in the development of population-based cancer registries, as well as by the IARC. It is also important to note that the project has been implemented as a practical example of South-South cooperation where two centres of excellence in cancer management in Argentina and Colombia have been offering and implementing technical cooperation in five participating countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Peru and Paraguay). Through this project, the participating countries will be able to improve the information available on cancer to be used by decision makers and for the development of improved cancer prevention and control programmes.
With the support of the PAHO/WHO Country Offices, the transfer of good practices has been done through the National Cancer Institutes of Argentina and Colombia. They have delivered training workshops and on-site visits to Ministry personnel in charge of non-communicable diseases in the 5 target countries. Additional visits and training have been conducted with the support of IARC to the target countries on the implementation and deployment of new tools for population-based cancer registries (i.e. CanReg5). The engagement of the Ministries of Health, National Cancer Institutes and public health practitioners has shown high degree of commitment to the initiative, which ensures follow-up and sustainability of the project.
Although the project is still in early phases, all those responsible for the management of cancer registries in the participating countries have received a first round of training. Follow-up activities include additional basic, intermediate and advanced courses that will allow countries to have disaggregated cancer data not only at the national level, but also from sub-national levels, and at the municipal level. With the support of PAHO/WHO and IARC, each country will review and develop the case definitions, variables, data collection workflows and coding rules, having learned from the experience of their peers.
The project has been innovative as it is the first time that good practices and lessons learned in the development of population-based cancer registries are implemented to allow countries to have disaggregated data by levels, as well as incidence and survival data. These countries will now be able to better support national, regional and global efforts in the fight against cancers and non-communicable diseases.
The progress achieved to date on cancer data is being shared with decision-makers for the development and implementation of policy solutions. The methodology of the project has allowed for PAHO/WHO to leverage economies of scale and include other interested stakeholders to raise awareness in the importance of the implementation of population-based cancer registries. This approach could be further expanded and scaled-up to other countries that find themselves in need to step-up the fight against non-communicable diseases by improving the quality of data for decision-making.
URL of the practice
Primary SDG Targets
Secondary SDG Targets
|NAME OF SOLUTION||Countries||SDG||Project Status|
100% Online Electronic Apostille and Legalization Sharing Colombia’s effective e-government system with other countries in the region
|Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru||16 - Peace and Justice Strong Institutions||Completed||View Details|
A Billion Brains: Smarter Children, Healthier Economies,” High Level Meeting on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights
|Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru||17 - Partnerships for the Goals||Ongoing||View Details|
Addressing the Philippine Dairy Sector Challenges Exchanging knowledge between Argentina and the Philippines to improve Philippine local dairy production
|Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru||08 - Decent Work and Economic Growth 17 - Partnerships for the Goals||Ongoing||View Details|
Addressing the Transboundary Dimensions of the 2030 Agenda through Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific Promoting co-deployment of ICT and transport infrastructure corridors in Central Asia region
|Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru||09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 13 - Climate Action 17 - Partnerships for the Goals||Completed||View Details|
Addressing Water Pollution and Supporting Water Management in Arab Countries Training and collaboration for improved water management in arid to semi-arid areas
|Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru||17 - Partnerships for the Goals||Completed||View Details|