C/Can to expand its global network of cities to transform cancer care

Join C/Can’s network of  ‘dreamers’ and ‘doers’

Earlier this year, on the occasion of World Cancer Day 2020, City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can) launched The City of Tomorrow campaign inspiring cities in low- and middle- income countries to join its global initiative to tackle the world’s growing cancer burden.  Every year, over 18 million people are diagnosed with cancer and 9.5 million die from the disease globally.*

The campaign invites cities with populations of above one million to register as dreamers and take the first steps in working towards the City of Tomorrow – a city where no-one is left behind when it comes to cancer care.  Read on to learn more about the campaign and what to expect over the next few months. 

What is a ‘dreamer’? 

Dreamers are any individuals, groups, or institutions that share C/Can´s commitment to improving access to quality cancer care, and that are ready to support their city on the journey to become the City of Tomorrow. 

Dreamers can do this by visiting C/Can´s campaign website and learning more about the application process for cities.  Dreamers are encouraged to share this information with their city leaders and local civil society organisations such as the national cancer society or patient associations.  

In Greater Petaling, Malaysia, for example, one of the latest cities to join C/Can, the city application process was driven through a collaboration between the University of Malaya and the National Cancer Society of Malaysia. Together, they raised awareness of the opportunity with key cancer care stakeholders across the city, garnered support locally, and gathered the necessary information to successfully complete the application form.  In Kigali, Rwanda, the Rwanda Palliative Care and Hospice Organisation played a critical role in mobilising local support and engaging the City of Kigali, Ministry of Health and Rwanda Biomedical Centre to work together throughout the application process.  

“Behind every city application that C/Can has received, there is a strong, committed group of champions or ‘dreamers’ who believe in the vision of quality, equitable cancer care, and see both the tremendous need and potential for their city to join C/Can.” Rebecca Morton Doherty, Head of Policy and Global Impact at C/Can 

What is a ‘doer’

A doer is a city that has successfully applied and become part of the C/Can community. Today, C/Can is operating in nine cities across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. These nine doer cities (Asuncion, Cali, Greater Petaling, Kigali, Kumasi, Leon, Porto Alegre, Tbilisi, Yangon)  are planning and implementing sustainable cancer care solutions that respond to local needs.  Key achievements in 2019 include: 

  • Creation of institutional cancer registries in two private hospitals in Cali, Colombia; 
  • Development of a 10-year radiotherapy plan and quality assurance programme in Asuncion, Paraguay; 
  • Development and running of a telepathology system, and training of 80+ health professionals in diagnosis of four priority cancers in Yangon, Myanmar; 
  • Creation of multi-institutional, multidisciplinary cancer care focus groups for breast and cervical cancer, and radiotherapy in Kumasi, Ghana.  
  • Learn more about our cities and their efforts to address gaps in cancer care here

From ‘dreamer’ to ‘doer’

The application process to join C/Can’s global network will officially open on October 21st,2020. Cities will be invited to submit an online Expression of Interest before the deadline of 1 December 2020. Between now and then, C/Can is encouraging dreamers to use the application checklist as a useful resource to assess their city’s eligibility and readiness to join C/Can. 

The checklist can be used to identify areas that may need to be strengthened before considering an application and provides links to resources that are available to help address these under the themes of:  local leadership and political commitment; partnerships; people-centred approach;  enabling policy environment and cancer care basics. 

Once submitted, city Expressions of Interest will be reviewed throughout January and February 2021.  Shortlisted candidates will be invited to provide a full application by 1 March. Between then and September of 2021, an in-depth due diligence process will be conducted with shortlisted cities, including on-site visits. Between May and December, successful cities will be informed, and public announcements planned in collaboration with city stakeholders, and linked to key global, regional, and national events.

Learn more about the campaign and how you can help your city on the road to becoming The City of Tomorrow on the website, and stay tuned for more detailed guidance about the application process in the coming months. 



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