SickKids informs policy efforts to combat childhood cancer in low-and middle-income countries
The latest Disease Control Priorities 3rd Edition (DCP3) volume on cancer gathers essential information on effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, feasibility and affordability of a range of interventions to provide evidence-based guidance to decision makers worldwide. It is available online now through the World Bank’s Open Knowledge Repository.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates that 3.4 million, or 77 per cent, of all premature cancer deaths in 2012 occurred in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The DCP Volume Cancer, which explores how much of this burden is avertable and the interventions that can have the biggest impact, is the second installment in the DCP3 series published by the World Bank Group. Dr. Sumit Gupta, Staff Oncologist and Clinician Investigator at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), is a chapter author. For an estimated $1.70-$5.70 per capita, low- and middle-income countries can offer the model “essential package” of cancer control interventions, which can be tailored to local conditions. This package includes cost-effective cancer prevention, treatment and palliative care services that go beyond those that are feasible only at the primary care level. The volume also addresses the financial impact that cancer can have on household economies and how this impact varies by family, education, literacy, and income levels.
“DCP findings are widely read by LMIC health policymakers and non-governmental agencies to help set health priorities. By including the treatment of select childhood cancer in the DCP’s ‘Essential Package’ of cancer control interventions, we hope to raise the profile of childhood cancer worldwide and encourage governments to develop national childhood cancer strategies,” says Gupta.
The strategies and services discussed are meant to provide a foundation upon which low- and middle-income countries can expand their cancer control through the adaptation of such services according to the country’s specific health needs and economic feasibility. Susan Horton, editor and visiting scholar at the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, explains, “Given the anticipated increases in public spending on health, it is estimated that the majority of LMICs will be able to implement a locally customized essential package of services by 2030.”
The volume was developed by the Disease Control Priorities Network at the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The volume is one of nine planned volumes in the DCP3 series that will be published throughout 2015-2016.