Leon, elected fourth city in Latin America and eighth in the world by City Cancer Challenge to improve cancer care in the country
- In Mexico, cancer is the third leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- City Cancer Challenge works with cities to respond to the growing burden of cancer and to improve equitable access to quality cancer care based on solutions focused on innovation and sustainability.
León, Guanajuato, September 30, 2019 –. The city of León, Guanajuato, has been selected as the fourth city in Latin America and the eighth in the world to join the City Cancer Challenge (C/Can), having fulfilled all eligibility requirements. The announcement took place this morning at an event held at City Hall and chaired by Héctor López Santillana, Mayor of León.
Through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, León City Hall, the state of Guanajuato, the National Cancer Institute (INCan) and C/Can will work together to establish the bases to provide quality and equitable cancer care for all citizens. The aim is not only to improve access to early treatment and diagnosis, but also, through innovative solutions, to replicate the results obtained in other cities of the country.
“We hope that by joining C Can, we can continue to support the efforts led by INCan to finalize and implement the National Cancer Control Plan that has been in development for several years. On behalf of City Hall we are committed to this initiative, aware of the potential of the solutions developed in the city to be implemented in other regions of the country,” said Héctor López Santillana, Mayor of León.
The event was also chaired by Isabel Mestres, Director of Public Affairs of C/Can; Daniel Alberto Díaz Martínez, Secretary of Health and General Director of the Public Health Institute of the State of Guanajuato (Isapeg); Dr. Abelardo Meneses García, General Director of INCan; and Juan Martínez Álvarez Esquivel, Municipal Director of Health.
“Tackling a problem as complex as cancer can only be achieved by working with the public and private sectors, as well as civil society. However, in many Latin American countries, health systems are fragmented. Through an innovative strategy, at C/Can we work to integrate these systems, developing sustainable solutions that can be replicated at regional, national, and even global levels. We are very proud to be able to add León in the fight against cancer,” said Isabel Mestres, Director of Public Affairs of C/Can.
With the support of INCan and the Rodolfo Padilla Foundation, in 2019, the city of León requested joining C/Can. “We are very proud to join this challenge and are committed to creating solutions that will help us reduce cancer deaths in León and the country. Through our participation, we will be contributing to create a scalability plan that takes Leon’s experiences and knowledge to other cities in the country, ”said Dr. Aberlado Meneses García, General Director of INCan.
In Mexico, cancer is the third leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In 2018, more than 83,000 deaths were attributed to cancer, while about 191,000 new cases were detected. Meanwhile, in the state of Guanajuato 3 852 people died from cancer in 2017. And in the city of León, in 2018, 1,029 people died of cancer, with breast cancer being the main cause of death.
The high mortality rate both nationally and in Guanajuato has led to the implementation of measures by local authorities, including studies to advance the timely detection of breast cancer in the state, as well as the progress made through the creation of the National Plan for Cancer Control.
In León, considerable progress has been made in the creation of public-private partnerships that facilitate efforts to improve cancer care. For example, the Regional High Specialty Hospital of El Bajío offers an innovative financing mechanism for cancer patients.
“Together with C/Can we hope to continue promoting these types of associations and make cancer care more affordable for the entire population,” said Juan Martín Álvarez Esquivel, Municipal Director of Health.
“having INCan as one of the leading institutions in the development of these initiatives, with its experience and trajectory throughout the world, gives us enormous opportunities in terms of capacity development and implementation,” said Daniel Alberto Díaz Martínez, Secretary of Health and General Director of Isapeg.
C/Can is changing the way in which the public and private sectors collaborate, through the implementation of sustainable solutions to achieve a common goal: to improve equitable access to quality cancer care and to contribute to the reduction of deaths from this disease. Our local approach gives the C/Can model global impact. Three other three cities in Latin America are part of C/Can: Porto Alegre, Cali, where cancer care has been improved, and Asunción, a city that through the initiative has positioned cancer as a political priority at the level national, contributing to the first comprehensive cancer law.