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Paul Chilwesa: Building resilience in cancer healthcare systems in LMICs requires concerted efforts
Nov 18, 2023, 23:03

Paul Chilwesa: Building resilience in cancer healthcare systems in LMICs requires concerted efforts

Paul Chilwesa, Population Health Impact Leader at F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, made the following post on LinkedIn:

“The OECD defines health system resilience as “the ability of health systems not only to prepare for shocks, but also to minimize the negative consequences of such disruptions, recover as quickly as possible, and adapt by learning lessons from the experience to become better performing and more prepared.”

This week I participated in a panel discussion during London Global Cancer Week (LGCW2023) which was focused on ‘Building Health Care Systems Resilience in Low- and Middle-Income Countries’. Building resilience in cancer healthcare systems in LMICs requires concerted efforts, multisectoral collaboration, and crucially, long-term, sustainable investment.

As the OECD points out, resilience is about being prepared for shocks to systems and applying learnings so that systems adapt and strengthen. A key enabler of this is investment. If the starting point for health systems is low e.g., physical infrastructure and healthcare workers, then any disruption will cause significant challenges to the system. We saw this clearly with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Significant deficits in cancer essential drugs, medical technology, and scarce skills, result in inefficiencies and preventable deaths. Take for example, the cancer burden in Southern Africa is set to nearly double in the next two decades, necessitating a concerted and time-sensitive effort to scale up capacity in the region. The provision of specialized oncology centers, bringing treatment closer to where patients live, is a positive move towards Universal Health Coverage and has the potential to reduce at scale the World Bank reported 100 million people globally are sent into poverty due to out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The WHO estimates that 7.3 million lives can be saved from cancer by 2030 through adequate evidence-based investment. The effective partnership will bring together financing, technology, operationalization capability, and timely support, toward a new paradigm of comprehensive cancer care without financial hardship to patients and their families.”

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Source: Paul Chilwesa/LinkedIn