Ocean Road Cancer Institute is among of the new 11 organization and projects that were selected to partake 2019 Metastatic Breast Cancer challenge.
This initiative supported by Pfizer and UICC who are working in partnership to offer the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC) Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge, a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at empowering advocacy groups, hospital networks, support groups and other organisations worldwide as they initiate projects supporting metastatic breast cancer patients and helping to reduce the number of women diagnosed at an advanced stage of breast cancer.
An extract from UICC website read “Since the launch of this initiative in 2015, more than US $1.5 million has been granted to cancer organisations in order to support projects addressing the needs of metastatic breast cancer patients”.
The announcement was made on the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Awareness Day, whereby, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Pfizer Oncology announced the names of the new cancer organisations selected to take part in the third round of the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community: Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge (SPARC MBC Challenge).
“Through the third round of the programme, the SPARC awardees network will grow to over 50 organisations in 35 countries. 11 cancer organisations from 10 countries have been selected to enter this global programme and were selected to receive grant funding amounting to USD $275,000 provided primarily by Pfizer Oncology.
The awardees will be supported to launch new projects tackling the needs of MBC patients in their communities by addressing the gap in information and support, raising awareness and contributing to strengthening the national health system. The organisations and projects selected to enter the SPARC MBC Challenge network are”:
- Ocean Road Cancer Institute (Tanzania): Developing a resource centre for patients with metastatic breast cancer in Tanzania
- Asociación Tour Rosa (Costa Rica): Más vida (more life)
- Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute (Botswana): Improving timely access to care for women with advanced stage breast cancer
- Cancer Aware – One Kind Act Foundation (Nigeria): Leveraging mobile technology for metastatic breast cancer patients and caregivers
- Cancer Warriors de Mexico, A.C. (Mexico): Establishment of a surveillance commission to enforce the rights of Mexican women with MBC
- Medicaid Cancer Foundation (Nigeria): One call away: supporting MBC patients to access healthcare and psychosocial support
- Rumah Sakit Kanker Dharmais – National Cancer Center (Indonesia): Palliative care needs assessment of metastatic breast cancer patients in West Jakarta
- University of Cyprus (Cyprus): Guiding metastatic breast cancer women after diagnosis to meet unmet needs
- Venezuelan Breast Cancer Research and Education Foundation (Venezuela): Reframing advanced breast cancer: from expectations to facts
- Zambian Cancer Society (Zambia): Nthano Zathu Radio Drama for MBC women
- Zanmi Lasante (Haiti): Assisting metastatic breast cancer patients to navigate care
Each of the 11 organisations will receive up to USD 25’000 and benefit from training and mentoring alongside the opportunity to participate in key international cancer events such as the ABC Global Alliance Conference and the World Cancer Congress to exchange best practices with other organisations from around the world.
A statement from UICC website read, “UICC is honoured to support these organisations to have such a strong impact in their respective communities. Through previous SPARC rounds, new resources and services have been developed to provide information, and financial or psychosocial support to MBC patients when they had little or no support at all. There have been national awareness campaigns to lower the stigma associated with the disease, and advocacy efforts that have improved equity in access to care. Through this new round of the SPARC programme, we hope that more MBC patients and their caregivers will be supported and more progress seen at the national level”. Dr Kirstie Graham, Director, Capacity Building at UICC.
Awardees were selected following a competitive application process overseen by an external, multidisciplinary advisory committee formed by UICC and chaired by Dr Fatima Cardoso, Director of the Breast Unit of the Champalimaud Cancer Center in Lisbon, Portugal. Selection criteria used to choose the awardees included; project relevance, potential for impact, feasibility, sustainability, as well as organisational capacity to implement the proposed project.
The SPARC MBC Challenge is a grants programme that supports projects worldwide aimed at addressing MBC patients’ specific needs to and ultimately, reduce the number of women diagnosed at an advanced stage of breast cancer. Since its launch in 2015 by UICC in partnership with Pfizer Oncology, it is estimated that the SPARC MBC Challenge has directly benefitted more than 14’000 MBC patients globally and has reached more than 140’000 people.