Cali marks one year of progress with visit from UICC President HRH Princess Dina MiredApril 24, 2018 4:34 am Leave your thoughts
Princess Dina Mired visits Cali and Bogotá
Marking one year since the launch of City Cancer Challenge in Cali, HRH Princess Dina Mired, President-elect of UICC, visited the city and met with the national, regional and city Ministers of Health, Governor of Valle del Cauca, Mayor of Cali, among other authorities and C/Can partners, and visited leading cancer institutions in Cali and Bogotá.
Cali in Colombia was the first city to begin the C/Can process in March 2017. Throughout the first year, strong multisectoral collaboration at the city level involving all the key stakeholders was established. Cali advanced swiftly through the needs assessment, and based on input from over 200 stakeholders, including cancer care professionals and patients, a number of key gaps were identified.
Priorities requiring high- and low-resource investment to address these gaps in cancer care were defined and agreed in the situation analysis, and the city is now working on the activity planning and receiving technical assistance.
HRH Princess Dina Mired’s visit was an excellent opportunity for her to learn first-hand about City Cancer Challenge’s work in Cali and the impact achieved by the city during the first year as well as to raise awareness on the need to move beyond political commitments made at the global level to improve access to quality cancer services.
During her visit in Cali she met with Ms Dilian Francisca Toro, Governor of Valle del Cauca Department and with Mr Maurice Armitage, Mayor of the City of Cali, with the participation of Dr Lesmes and Dr Duran, Department and City Health Secretaries’ respectively. HRH Princess Dina was excited about the progress in Cali and the outstanding involvement and commitment of the authorities including the City Executive Committee, with whom she also met to review progress and strategize on priorities and next steps.
During her meeting with the City Executive Committee HRH highlighted the following:
“I am impressed by the fact that this is the first time all key stakeholders in cancer care come together to work hand-in-hand, leaving their institutional interest aside and focusing on the benefit of the patients and the city”.
C/Can was presented at the Cancer Forum organized by the city of Cali with the support of Amgen, Astellas, Pfizer, MSD, Novartis and Roche, C/Can partners. Renowned national cancer authorities, including Dr. Carolina Wiesner, Director of the Colombian National Cancer Institute, Dr. Martha Gualtero, President of the Cancer Observatory, and Dr. Fernando Ruíz, Scientific Director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Treatment of the Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo Foundation. The discussions that took place during this event were aiming towards solutions concerning oncology challenges, the state of the art of cancer treatment and public policies within the city and in Colombia.
The stay in Cali also included visits to oncology facilities for HRH Princess Dina Mired to become acquainted with the capacities available in the centres and gaps to be addressed. In this regard she was briefed of recent accomplishments that included the first support provided by a partner responding to the need to provide training for laboratory professionals on quality control, and that was delivered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) – read more on this training (link to other article ASCP – feature article).
As the C/Can city process is advancing and as part of the next steps in engaging key partners and developing strategic alliances, HRH Princess Dina also met with important Colombian entrepreneurs and the private sector to encourage their support to the initiative.
In Bogota, HRH Princess Dina Mired had the opportunity to meet with HE Mr Alejandro Gaviria, Minister of Health of Colombia, who has been following the progress of C/Can and ensured that all key national institutions have been involved throughout the process. They discussed issues and challenges identified in Cali under the C/Can initiative, and how to strengthen the involvement of the Ministry of Health in addressing and supporting the implementation of concrete activities in the city.
Following this meeting, HRH Princess Dina met with six CEO’s of the main pharmaceutical companies based in Colombia and with a representative from Access Accelerated, to share her personal assessment of the progress achieved in Cali during the first year and ensure their efforts to improve patients lives, align with Cali’s defined and agreed activity plans by the City Executive Committee. All of them expressed their support and willingness to respond to the needs identified by the city with expertise, technical assistance and financial support if required.
HRH Princess Dina’s agenda also included a meeting with Mr Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo and his daughter Ms Adriana Sarmiento, who are developing an important initiative building a Centre for Cancer Research and Treatment and providing the city of Bogotá with a specialized state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre. Areas of collaboration were discussed and will be further explored.
Pfizer Colombia organized an event with the general managers of key companies with a base in the country, among them IBM, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon and Varian, through the Council of American Entreprises. All were encouraged them to join the initiative, especially now that the activity planning is being developed and support the city in improving the access to quality cancer services.
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