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Removing the barriers to better cancer care is a significant challenge in many countries worldwide. Partnering with different stakeholders across the health eco-system and playing our part to ensure that every patient has the opportunity to achieve optimal care is a responsibility that we at Bayer take seriously.
Learn more about the importance of collaboration in the fight against cancer:
The latest innovations in cancer care are not accessible to all patients for a variety of reasons, such as geography, lack of infrastructure to deliver care, delays in reimbursement for testing and treatment, and lack of awareness. This results in significant disparities in access to quality cancer care. Even within the same country, some patients have access to optimal treatment and care whilst others do not. Lack of access to comprehensive testing and early, optimal treatment can have a significant impact on the outcome of the therapy and thus on the life of the patients and their families.
We believe that every patient diagnosed with cancer should be able to access breakthrough innovations and medicines that are appropriate for them as an individual and can bring a meaningful difference to their lives.
Improving Access to Quality Cancer Care in Under-Served Communities
As part of the Oncology Sustainability Initiative at Bayer, we are working across the globe on projects that are primarily focused on improving access to quality cancer care for large, underserved communities in low- and middle-income countries – which experience disparities in access to cancer care.
India: Improving access to early cancer screening
One landmark Oncology Sustainability project is the partnership between Bayer and the National Cancer Institute of India-All India Institute of Medical Sciences (NCI-AIIMS) located in Jhajjar, Haryana. This collaboration, which was initiated in 2021, brings cancer screening to patients at high risk of cancer in underserved rural communities in India, helping to reduce disparities in access to cancer care.
Currently, more than 4.5 million people in India suffer from cancer, which is one of the country’s growing non-communicable diseases. It is also the second leading cause of death in India, after cardiovascular disease.
Bayer continues to support this landmark project which is focused on targeted screening in high-risk individuals in order to detect cancer in its early stages and help ensure that patients receive timely treatment and care. Mobile technology is used so that screening, a starting point in quality cancer care, can be delivered to those patients living in remote, rural locations.
The five-year initiative includes plans to launch screening programs for prostate, head and neck/oral cancer. It will enable screening of approximately 12,000 patients in the geographical vicinity of NCI, thereby enhancing cancer surveillance and benefitting individuals who may otherwise never be able to find quality cancer care.
Egypt: Working with the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population
In Egypt, liver cancer or hepato-cellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cancer in men, and the sixth most common in women.1 The HCC prevalence rate in the country is above the global average, yet patient outcomes remain below international standards.
Bayer has initiated a collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population (MHOP) to support access to HCC screening, diagnosis and treatment in the country. This partnership will work in three ways to improve patient outcomes.
The first will be to strengthen the healthcare system to ensure consistent quality of care, and better use of data for decision-making in treatment and care. The second will be to support development of healthcare service capacities through medical education and training programs, and the third to raise patient awareness through education in order to develop knowledge of cancer management and create demand for quality treatment and care. The partners have set themselves ambitious goals, and first results of this program are expected to be seen from as early as 2022.
Ghana: Partnering with GIZ to improve prostate cancer awareness, screening and early diagnosis
Bayer has entered into a public-private partnership with the German Government’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and facilitated through the develoPPP program, to invest in capacity building in Ghana for increased prostate cancer awareness, screening and early diagnosis. The goal of this partnership is to enable capacity building in order to improve outcomes for prostate cancer patients in Ghana and also create a long-term sustainable business model for prostate cancer care in Ghana.
As part of this collaboration, Bayer and GIZ are working closely with a number of stakeholder organizations across Ghana to achieve improvements in the overall quality of care for prostate cancer. These groups include the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), and the Ghana Association of Urological Surgeons.
The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra is a leader in cancer care in Ghana and is a key referral center for prostate cancer patients with advanced disease.
As part of this collaboration, Bayer and GIZ will implement a number of activities to reach the goal of improving access to prostate cancer diagnostic services for 450,000 men in the Greater Accra region in Ghana. These include training and mentoring doctors on prostate cancer diagnosis at the participating health facilities, equipping facilities with diagnostic tools and establishing a long-term mobile biopsy service.
Looking towards the future
Whether it is through educational campaigns, projects that make cancer screening and diagnosis more accessible, or by enabling health services to increase their capacity to provide better care, this initiative provides the opportunity to reach over 300 million patients worldwide. It works towards our collective goals as a cancer network to save as many lives as possible from cancer and to make a positive difference to the lives of all those affected by it.
Bayer is committed to continuing to drive forward innovative and impactful, new initiatives focused on underserved communities in partnership with leading organizations in order to help address inequities in cancer care across the world. Together we can make ‘Health for All’ a reality for people with cancer around the globe and ensure that no-one is left behind.
Learn more about the importance of collaboration in the fight against cancer.
1 Rashed, W.M., Mohamed Kandeil, M.A., Mahmoud, M.O. et al. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) in Egypt: A comprehensive overview. Journal of the Egyptian National Cancer Institute. 32; 5 2020