A new initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos is putting plans in place to increase the number of people with access to quality cancer treatment and care services in cities with a population of over 1 million.
The City Cancer Challenge, partners various sectors together including the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, city leaders, governments, UN agencies and a number of businesses to help the one in three directly affected by cancer across the globe.
One of the world’s most pressing health concerns, cancer kills almost the equivalent of the entire population of London (around 8 million) per year – more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Low and middle-income countries are expected to feel the greatest financial impact of cancer as a growing population, rapid urbanisation and less capable resources struggle with the demand.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals set targets to invest in non-communicable disease treatment in cities, with the hope of drastically reducing cancer mortality by 2025.
Cancer is currently estimated to cost the world economies around $1.16 trillion per year, and as population grows so too will the cost.
The first three cities who have committed to the Davos challenge are Asuncion in Paraguay, Cali in Colombia and Yangon, Myanmar as the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) the first of its kind movement as “a milestone.”
“It is the first time such an international coalition of multisectoral organisations has been established to work with cities on improving cancer treatment and care,” said Cary Adams, CEO of UICC. “This is a call to action for all sectors to support city governments with populations above 1 million to respond to the rising epidemic of cancer and show the world that, together, we can tackle this disease and save lives.”
By the end of 2019, Davos expects upwards of 80 cities to have committed to the Challenge and a great impact in cancer figures will be seen by 2025.