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American Cancer Society Launches SOURCE Program to Reduce Cancer Burden in Uganda and Kenya
Jan 19, 2016
The global, multi-year program will train and empower developing organizations to fight cancer locally

Washington, D.C. – January 19, 2016 – As part of an ongoing effort to reduce the burden of cancer in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs), the American Cancer Society (ACS) will launch the American Cancer Society Strengthening Organizations for a United Response to the Cancer Epidemic (SOURCE) Program this month in Kenya and Uganda. The SOURCE Program, which is based on best practices in organizational development and ACS’s own organizational experience as the global leader in the cancer fight, is a competency-based training and technical assistance program. This program is designed to strengthen individual cancer organizations and the wider networks in which they operate within LMICs so that they are able to mount more effective responses to the local cancer burden.

ACS will deliver multiple competency-based organizational strengthening interventions over a two-year timeframe to up to 25 targeted cancer-fighting organizations based in the capital cities to participate in cohort 1 for each country. The program is comprehensive and holistic in nature with three programmatic components: assessment and action planning, training and technical assistance. Training and interventions are designed to improve overall performance of participating organizations, and build a framework in which organizations can support one another beyond the lifespan of the program.

“The American Cancer Society is committed to eradicating cancer not only in the United States but worldwide.  Sadly, many low-income countries are far behind the developed world when it comes to fighting this disease. So we asked ourselves as an organization – how can we best help?” says Sally Cowal, senior vice president of global programs, ACS.  “For the past century, the American Cancer Society has been learning what it takes to effectively fight cancer, and as a result we’ve grown into the most effective cancer-fighting organization in the world.  The SOURCE Program enables new cancer-fighting organizations to use our bank of experience and knowledge to fast-track their own successes and ultimately save more lives.”

In its initial phase, the SOURCE Program will strengthen organizations across seven domains. Each domain represents a fundamental element that need to be in place for an organization to function effectively and deliver responsive and sustainable cancer control programs and services. The domains include operations and administration, human resources management, financial management, financial sustainability, program management, external relations and partnerships, and governance. Future expansion of the program will be focused on developing mission delivery competencies of organizations across the cancer care continuum. The program will officially launch in Uganda on Thursday, January 21 and in Kenya on Thursday, January 28.

“In Kenya, effective interventions against cancer are needed more than ever before, “ says David Makumi, chairman of the Kenyan Network of Cancer Organizations. “The Ministry of Health and other agencies report that over 70 Kenyans are dying of cancer each day. This is far too many.  We in the civil society movement  against cancer are determined to work together to save lives from this disease. Thanks to the SOURCE Program, individual organizations will learn how to better approach this urgent task in a structured and unified manner. We can’t wait to see what we’re sure will be lifesaving results.’’

“The World Health Organization estimates cancer to account for 5% of all country deaths in Uganda,” says Jackson Orem, MMED, MBCHB, Managing Director of the Uganda Cancer Institute.  “However, the country currently does not have a supportive environment for prevention and control of cancer. We need a national program to guide cancer programming and intensified cancer-fighting public policy – so training advocacy organizations will be key. We must also amp up general cancer awareness to help dispel myths about this disease and provide lifesaving information on screening and early detection. The SOURCE Program will strengthen local organizations that are engaged in this fight and will help position them as leaders for the fight against cancer in Uganda.”

The effort is part of ACS’s global health program, which is focused on preventing cancer, saving lives, diminishing suffering, catalyzing a local response in LMICs, and shaping the global policy agenda. ACS is currently investing $400,000 to fund the program this year in Uganda and Kenya, though additional investments are expected to be made over the next several years across each country.

For more information visit http://www.cancer.org/aboutus/globalhealth/.