Leading, local experts help to set the standard for equitable, quality cancer care with the acceleration of concrete solutions

The City of Kigali, Rwanda Biomedical Centre and City Cancer Challenge jointly host retreat to shape the city’s cancer care strategy   

31 May 2021, Kigali, Rwanda – This past week, the City of Kigali, Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) and City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can) jointly hosted a three-day retreat to accelerate the finalisation of key documents that will shape the future of cancer care for the city and country at large.

Over 20 cancer care experts from Rwanda, supported by a leading medical physicist and specialist pathologist from Ghana, produced draft documents (including development plans, clinical management guidelines, standard operating procedures and strategies), that will support the City of Kigali’s cancer care strategy in the priority areas of: Quality of cancer care, Pathology, Imaging, Palliative care, Medical Oncology, and Surgery.

“The documents developed by our experts with support from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre and C/Can will become the backbone of how we as a city — and as a nation — will address cancer care needs for the people of Kigali and Rwanda. We cannot afford to miss the opportunity to take the lead on this urgent issue and to create a healthier, better future. We are one step closer to this vision of equitable access to cancer care for all.” Umunoti Gatsinzi Nadine, Vice Mayor, Social Economic Affairs, City of Kigali

With the rising burden of cancer in Rwanda, the national government has prioritised it as a top health issue. The work C/Can is doing with the city is a key part of these efforts, with its outcomes supporting the implementation of Rwanda’s National Cancer Control Plan, which was launched in February 2020 by the Ministry of Health.

With this gathering of an esteemed group of experts in cancer care by City Cancer Challenge, the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, as well the City of Kigali, we are bringing together our brains and ideas with the goal of saving lives of people. It is the best investment we can make.” Dr Sabin Nzanzimana, Director General, Rwanda Biomedical Centre

The success of the retreat demonstrates the considerable progress achieved since 2019 when the City of Kigali joined C/Can, and a growing movement of cities around the world to work with a network of multisectoral partners to plan and deliver local cancer care solutions.

“This past week’s collaborative efforts have produced critical outcomes that will define the benchmark for quality cancer management for the city and nation. We applaud the work of everyone involved, and thank the City of Kigali and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, for their support in driving cancer care solutions for the city and its people.” Dr Susan Henshall, CEO, City Cancer Challenge Foundation

The drafted cancer care documents directly address the gaps identified by the city during a Needs Assessment, involving 120 healthcare professionals and 80 patients from 11 public and private institutions – a first of its kind for the city. With their finalisation, a series of city reviews and international consultations will begin to further refine the documents.

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