WHA70: Statement of India (SEARO) on cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach

On Tuesday, 30 May 2017, India, on behalf of the WHO South-East Asia Region, delivered the following intervention on Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach.

SEAROcancerstatement.png

In particular, the SEARO region underscored importance of the delinkage of costs of R&D from product prices as a pathway to promoting innovation for “new and better cancer drugs and diagnostics” warning that without delinkage and accessible, affordable health technologies, the WHO would “fail to achieve the Global commitments for NCD prevention and control”.

While we welcome the draft resolution on this agenda item, we would like to highlight the need to promote research and development of new and better cancer drugs and diagnostics, which are accessible and affordable, and where the principle of de-linkage of prices from the R & D cost is followed. Otherwise, we may fail to achieve the Global commitments for NCD prevention and control, in particular, the global voluntary target of NCDs for 2025 and SDG for 2030, and the talk of cancer control will remain a distant reality.

The full intervention of SEARO on agenda item 15.6, Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach, can be found below.

Regional One Voice, Agenda 15.6 Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach
Lead country: India, Support country: Bangladesh

Chair,
(India) makes this intervention on behalf of eleven countries in the South-East Asia Region.

In our Region, cancer kills over 1.1 million people, many are premature deaths. It is an unfortunate fact that most of cancer cases in SEAR are preventable, treatable, curable and careable. Lung, liver, cervical, breast, and oral cancers are leading cancers in our Region.

Chairperson, another area of concern is the rise in Childhood cancers that affects our future.

Member States in the Region have made a good progress in tackling cancer through regional and national responses. Cancer control is integrated in the Regional NCD Action Plan. The Regional Committee resolution in 2015 prioritized strengthening early diagnosis, management and referral of cancers, as well as enhancing information systems and population-based registries. Furthermore, in 2016, the Regional Committee endorsed the Colombo Declaration in which cancer risk reduction and screening are at the core of the regional response.

Our SEAR Member States have developed and revised national cancer prevention and control plans; have initiated implementation of measures to address major cancer risks, namely tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and other oncogenic infections and environmental hazards. The Member States also propose to address the emerging challenge posed by Areca nut which is another risk factor for oral cancer in our Region. We have scaled up population-based cancer registration and reoriented primary health care level, to provide cancer detection and management, in particular for breast, cervical and oral cancers.

Cancer control requires an integrated, effective health system, founded on universal health coverage and strong primary health care, as well as holistic management to provide cancer care spectrum; from detection, treatment to palliative care. Our Region therefore welcomes the idea of integration to NCD prevention control program and the concept to place cancer control within the framework of broader socio-economic sustainable development agenda.

Chair, cancer prevention and control require adequate financial resources. Insufficient resources impede implementation of national cancer control programmes. At individual level, the high cost of cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care largely hampers access to care, as well as leads to catastrophic illness.

We, therefore-Chair, call upon WHO and other partners to promote availability and accessibility of affordable, safe, effective, and quality medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics and other technologies, including through exercising TRIPS Flexibility.

While we welcome the draft resolution on this agenda item, we would like to highlight the need to promote research and development of new and better cancer drugs and diagnostics, which are accessible and affordable, and where the principle of de-linkage of prices from the R & D cost is followed. Otherwise, we may fail to achieve the Global commitments for NCD prevention and control, in particular, the global voluntary target of NCDs for 2025 and SDG for 2030, and the talk of cancer control will remain a distant reality.

SEAR Member States would like to propose amendment to the OP2(10) to replace the existing text with

“To synchronize and integrate the periodic report on progress made in implementing this resolution into the monitoring and report timeline of the NCD prevention and control, set out in the Resolution WHA 66.10”

Thank you for your attention.

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