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A comprehensive cancer care project in Tanzania
The Government of Tanzania, Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS), and the French Development Agency (AFD) today signed a grant agreement and Memorandum of understandings related to an innovative Public Private Partnership project of 38 billion shillings (approximately €13.3 million) aiming at enhancing comprehensive cancer care in Tanzania.

To address challenges facing cancer care in the country, Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP) was proposed aimed on strengthening and expanding the quality access and capacity of cancer care services through an innovative public private partnership (PPP) initiative. This project, funded by a €10M grant from AFD and €3.3M contribution from Aga Khan Health Services, Tanzania, builds on the long history of successful cooperation between AFD and AKHS in the health sector in Tanzania that led to the recent inauguration of the Aga Khan Hospital expansion in Dar Es Salaam on 9th March 2019).

With the global rise in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, cancer is becoming an increasingly important public health issue. Tanzania and other developing countries are disproportionately affected by cancer, where a dramatic rise in cancer incidence and mortality is seen. This places an enormous burden on the Dar es Salaam-based Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI), which until 2014 was the only public cancer hospital responsible for serving the country’s 55 million inhabitants. Significant investments into each component of the cancer continuum from prevention, screening and early detection, continuing into diagnostics, treatment as well as palliative care and survivorship are needed to strengthen the quality of cancer care in Tanzania. 

This four-year Comprehensive Cancer Project, is a high-quality, evidence-based initiative designed to reduce the burden of cancer morbidity and mortality in two target regions of Dar es Salaam and Mwanza in Tanzania. This will be achieved through a strategy that focuses on the enhanced performance and expanded outreach of the Tanzanian-based implementing partners including Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania (AKHST), Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI), Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), Bugando Medical Centre (BMC), Dar es Salaam and Mwanza regional secretariats under the president office regional and local government (PO-RALG), and Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) with technical support from Institut Curie in France in delivering the full range of cancer services in the two-targeted regions in Tanzania

Speaking during ceremony, Dr. Harrison Chuwa, Consultant Oncologist at The Aga Khan Hospital and Director for TCCP said: “The comprehensive approach will create an integrated health care network at local and hospital levels to accelerate performance in cancer care and expand to underserved areas and low-income target groups.”

Addressing the objectives of this project Ms. Stéphanie Mouen, Country Director AFD in Tanzania said: “The strong financial and social commitments taken by AKHS-T in this program as well as the involvement of the three main Tanzanian public hospitals in the field of oncology have been decisive in AFD’s decision to indeed participate in the financing of the project.  They are aligned with AFD’s objectives to ensure such projects bear a maximum desired impact for populations."

Chief guest, Hon. Faustine E. Ndugulile, Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children government of Tanzania said: “The project will be implemented in 13 districts (5 in Dar es Salaam and 8 in Mwanza) of the two target regions. It will directly benefit approximately 1.7 million people.”

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