Page 0016

F

or over two decades, the World Health Organization

(WHO) has encouraged countries to set up

comprehensive national cancer control programmes

(NCCPs) as part of their national health policy, strategy or

plan (NHPSP). According to WHO standards, these

programmes require a well-defined planning process with

involvement from a broad range of national stakeholders

that cover the plan components from prevention to

palliative care. The NCCP framework governs not only the

collaboration between national health authorities and

WHO, but also with other international partners such as the

International Atomic Energy Agency with its PACT cancer

programme who also provide support in cancer planning.

According to a recent WHO survey about national capacity

for the prevention and management of noncommunicable

diseases including cancer (1), the majority of countries

including LMICs have taken up this WHO principle and have

developed a national cancer plan. However, on closer

inspection, very few of these plans are operational and have

an allocated budget. The reason for this may be linked to the

fact that in the past cancer was not considered a health

priority like communicable diseases such as HIV, TB, Malaria,

etc. and made part of the Millennium Development Goals

over the last decade. The UN High Level Meeting on NCDs in

2011 and its political declaration (2) has catalysed a

paradigm change in health planning since there is a declared

commitment by all governments to include NCDs in their

national health priorities. WHO has a leading role in

galvanising national health systems to adequately address

cancer and other NCDs.

Historically, it is important to have an understanding

about how WHO in accordance with its global health UN

mandate provides technical support to its Member States,

taking into account that assistance in health planning is one

of the six WHO core functions. The WHO Country

Cooperation Strategy defines medium-term priorities for

the technical and financial support WHO provides through

WHO HQ, regional and country offices to countries in

support of their national health policy, strategy and plan. The

CCS is WHO's key instrument to guide its technical

cooperation in a particular country and the main instrument

for harmonizing WHO cooperation in countries with other

UN agencies and development partners.

The objective of this article is to provide an overview of

MAKING CANCER CONTROL PART OF

THE NATIONAL HEALTH AGENDA: THE

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION'S

COUNTRY COOPERATION STRATEGY

AND COMPREHENSIVE CANCER

CONTROL PLANNING

ANDREAS ULLRICH (LEFT) AND SHAMBHU PRASAD ACHARYA (RIGHT),

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

This article provides an overview of the principles behind the World Health Organization's

guidance for national cancer control planning. It also describes the WHO Country

Cooperation Strategy (CCS) which enables national governments to integrate cancer

programmes into the broader national health agenda and to collaborate with a wide

variety of international partners.

CANCER CONTROL PLANNING

14 CANCER CONTROL 2015

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