AFRICA – AstraZeneca is set to establish a new liver cancer research partnership in countries in Africa to accelerate improved understanding and care for a form of liver cancer.

In partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Microsoft and leading healthcare professionals in countries in Africa, AstraZeneca will participate in a new partnership which will establish dynamic registries to improve outcomes for people diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

HCC represents the fourth most common cancer across the African continent and an area of significant unmet need.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca will extend its Accelerate Change Together for Cancer Care program to sustainably improve cancer care ecosystems across the African continent.

AstraZeneca’s Accelerate Change Together (ACT) for Cancer Care Africa will enable African stakeholders to build local capacity and capabilities, enhance screening and diagnosis, increase disease awareness, and empower patients to make informed decisions about their care.

Through this program, AstraZeneca commits to supporting more than 100 oncology centers across countries in Africa- including Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, and Morocco — providing training for more than 10,000 health care professionals, and enabling screening and diagnosis for over one million patients across three major cancer types: lung, breast, and prostate.

AstraZeneca, Lalla Salma to promote access to cancer care

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the Lalla Salma Foundation have launched an initiative to promote equitable access to cancer care and transform the impact of cancer on patients in Morocco.

AstraZeneca Morocco and the Lalla Salma Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop the Moroccan oncology healthcare system, increase patient awareness, build infrastructure and capacity for early detection, and facilitate patient access to innovative treatments, according to a press release from AstraZeneca.

Called  “Accelerating Change Together; Cancer Care in Africa” (ACT;CCA), the program offers a forum for collaborators to jointly develop the solutions required to close the gaps in care pathways, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

On the sidelines of the launching ceremony on Thursday, the executive director of the Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention and Treatment, clinical experts, healthcare specialists, patient advocates, and private sector representatives discussed the evolution of cancer in Morocco and reiterated their commitment to ensuring equitable access to cancer care for all Moroccans.

According to AstraZeneca’s press release, cancer accounts for 13.4% of fatalities, with nearly 50,000 new cases reported annually in Morocco.

With a prevalence of 137.3 new cases per 100,000 people, a number of factors, including population ageing, smoking, and other lifestyle changes, act as accelerators, the statement detailed.

The regionally-launched ACT;CCA program in Morocco focuses on raising public awareness of cancer, facilitating access to cutting-edge treatments, implementing new screening and prevention initiatives, as well as training healthcare professionals to share a common vision of providing world-class care to cancer patients.

Over the next three years, the program aims to reach 35,000 patients nationwide, increase the availability of lung and ovarian cancer screening tests, promote the diagnosis of prostate cancer in patients, and introduce new artificial intelligence (AI) screening technologies.

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