The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) together with Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) call for the World Health Organization to improve the draft 2017 WHO Cancer Resolution by recognizing the importance of patients' organizations and the need for accreditation and certification programmes.

 At the January 2017 Executive Board meeting of the World Health Organization, the Secretariat presented a report on Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach. This report outlined the disease burden and trends in relation to cancer; national cancer strategies undertaken as part of national multi-sectoral efforts to address non-communicable diseases that are proving to be effective; and WHO's activities, and other international efforts, to meet the global challenge posed by cancer. The Board was invited to note the report and to consider the draft resolution contained therein.

"While we appreciate what has been done, it is not acceptable that patients' organisations and other civil societies were not mentioned in the 2017 Cancer prevention and control report," says Prof Francesco De Lorenzo, President of the European Cancer Patient Coalition. "If Member States want to reach as many people with cancer as possible, they must work to foster partnerships between government and civil society, as stated in Article 55 of the 2011 Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases."

Article 55 of the 2011 Non-communicable Diseases Political Declaration encourages Member States to:

  • Foster partnerships between government and civil society, building on the contribution of health-related non-governmental organizations and patients' organizations to support, as appropriate, the provision of services for the prevention and control, treatment and care, including palliative care, of non-communicable diseases.

The European Cancer Patient Coalition and Organisation of European Cancer Institutes strongly recommend the following additions to the 2017 Cancer Resolution:

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR MEMBER STATES AT THE COUNTRY LEVEL

  • Foster partnerships between government and civil society, building on the contribution of health-related non-governmental organizations and patients' organizations, to support, as appropriate, the provision of services for the prevention and control, treatment and care, including palliative care, of cancer;
  • Improve the use of recognised accreditation and certification programmes by providers of services for cancer diagnosis, treatment and care to ensure consistent access and quality improvement in Member States.

The Executive Board urges Member States:

  • To provide accreditation and quality assurance programmes for providers of cancer services to drive improvement.

These recommendations have been formally presented to the Deputy CEO and Director of Advocacy and Networks for the Union for International Cancer Control. They were presented by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes during the launch of the City Cancer Challenge, and by Members of the European Cancer Patient Coalition on the occasion of the NCD Alliance moving towards becoming a legal entity.

ECPC's President, Prof. Francesco De Lorenzo, addressed these recommendations to Dr. Margaret Chan, outgoing WHO Director-General, and to Ms. Heidi Botero-Hernandez, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN in Geneva and Chair of the informal consultations for the cancer resolution. Thanks to these communications, a new clause has been added including one of the recommendations outlined above. The final text of the resolution is expected to be voted on the 29th of May 2017.

 

Updated WHO Report on Cancer Prevention and Control, including recommendations by ECPC (clause OP1-19)