CGH Continues Building Partnership with the Commonwealth of Independent States at World Cancer Congress
, by Lisa Stevens
During the recent World Cancer Congress, the National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health (NCI CGH) staff had the opportunity to follow up with several partners in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The long-term relationships with CIS countries have recently been reinvigorated following the Central Asia Leadership Forum (CALF) that was co-sponsored by NCI CGH and the Uzbekistan National Cancer Center in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in October 2015. During the CALF, teams from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan focused on specific cancer control actions needed in their respective countries. Cancer registries and palliative care were common areas of interest. Each country team left the session with an action plan that would lead to the development and eventual implementation of a National Cancer Control Plan (NCCP). One year following the CALF, three countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan) have finalized their NCCPs.
In two of these countries, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, collaborations have grown to a sufficient level to necessitate formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to outline ongoing areas of collaboration between NCI CGH and Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan institutions, respectively.
NCI CGH entered into an agreement with the National Cancer Center of Uzbekistan to focus on the following areas:
- Enhancing research capacity through the provision of technical assistance; and
- Identifying training opportunities for capacity building
With Kazakhstan, the MOU outlines NCI CGH partnership with the Research Institute of Oncology and Radiology of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The proposed areas for continued collaboration include:
- Cancer control plan development, review, and assessment;
- Training of scientists and clinicians;
- Palliative care training and regional working group activities; and
- Scientific development in grantsmanship
Future partnership with these two countries will occur during upcoming training on gynecologic and urologic cancers, a Master Course in palliative care, a gynecologic cancer meeting (in partnership with many other organizations), and other regional scientific conferences.
In addition, NCI CGH participated in the CIS Oncology Congress in Minsk, Belarus in June of 2016. In the occasion, NCI CGH staff visited several oncology and palliative care centers, N.M. Alexandrov National Cancer Center, and the Ministry of Health, resulting in an agreement between US NCI and the National Cancer Center to utilize the country’s well-developed cancer control infrastructure for the benefit of Belarus, its neighbors and other CIS countries. Belarus will serve as a regional leader by providing platform for training events and workshops (especially, in cancer registry and palliative care) in the region. The MOU framework seeks to strengthen collaboration in radiation research, cancer registration, and training in palliative care; technical assistance for a comprehensive cancer screening program (cervical, breast and colorectal cancer); technical assistance on HPV vaccination; and joint research on genetics of cancer.
NCI CGH will continue to interface in the region around registry strengthening and data use, as well as through the Palliative Care Working Group formed by U.S., European and local experts.