Mwanza, Tanzania 28th November 2023: The Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project, a joint effort by Aga Khan Health Services and Aga Khan Foundation Tanzania, convened two meetings (28th November in Mwanza and 12th December in Dar es Salaam) with government counterpart and project collaborators. The primary focus of this gathering was to share the outcomes of various cancer related research endeavours conducted under Beat Cancer Research Initiative-(BCRI). This initiative, was driven by the goal of enhancing the accessibility of accurate cancer-related data, has successfully completed multiple research projects on various aspects of cancer in Tanzania. The meeting served as a platform to disseminate these valuable research findings.
At the data dissemination meeting, the researchers provided updates on the status of care service provision, the accessibility of cancer care services, the demand for these services, and identified gaps and or challenges across the entire spectrum of cancer care in Tanzania.
The research that was presented, provided more insight on the risk factors for cancers, key cancer treatment and their outcomes, unmet demand for services such as palliative care services, skills and knowledge of health care providers on cancers and training gaps among health care workers specifically for cancer care services.
The guest of honour for the data dissemination meeting, Dr Thomas Rutachunzibwa, Regional Medical Officer for Mwanza region, commended the young researchers for their great efforts in data collection and analysis, as well as their meticulous preparation of evidence-based reports. He also expressed gratitude to the project donor (AFD) for funding the research agenda and acknowledged the implementors (AKHST and AKF) for their strong leadership and support, which played a pivotal role in ensuring the timely completion of the research projects.
While addressing the invited guest/audience, the TCCP Project Manager Dr Harrison Chuwa, highlighted that, “The results of these research on availability of cancer care services, quality of cancer care services and the demand gap will create more awareness on the status of cancer care services to various actors under the health sector including the government itself”. The research will enhance review and improvement on the provision of care care services in the health facilities and increase utilization of cancer care services by the communities within the country, he said. In addition, the research provided recommendations to address the observed challenges that are facing cancer patients including ways to reduce the cancers cases, that is increasing at alarming rate in the county. “In conclusion, he emphasized that the research provided innovative strategies, with strong evidenced foundations that upon implementation will provide significant improvement in provision cancer care services to the general community, strengthen the health systems and increased on the availability of cancer related publications in Tanzania”.
Dr Thomas Rutachunzibwa (the guest of honour) said, “The Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP) funded 9 Tanzanian Young Researcher to conduct research on cancer related illnesses and the quality of cancer care services in Dar es salaam and Mwanza regions of Tanzania. The research initiative aimed at revealing the challenges and gaps in the service provision area and assessing knowledge and skills of health care providers in relation to cancer care, assessing the demand for cancer care services and assessing the outcome of cancer treatment to patients. The conducted research has provided scientific, innovative and evidence-based recommendation on the improvement of cancer care that also aligns with the local context.
Dr Thomas Rutachunzibwa praised the project team for great achievement throughout its implementation, and he also congratulated, “Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project for its high contribution in cancer research area through financing Young researcher to conduct research in different cancer arena, that will create awareness to policy makers and programmers to develop strategies that will contribute to reduction of cancer diseases in the country”. He advise the Ministry of Health, Presidents Office Regional Administrative and Local Government and other implementing partners, to utilize the results of these research in planning, making policy change and guiding proper allocation of resources for cancer care, for the benefit of Tanzanians and the whole world at large.
The findings from these cancer research endeavours will be disseminated through publication and shared with government entities and other partners. This dissemination aims to enhance awareness of cancer-related issues and facilitate the utilization of recommendations in strategic planning, policy development, proper resource allocation for cancer care, and the continual enhancement of the quality cancer care services.
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About Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP):
TCCP is four years project, implemented in two target regions of Dar es Salaam and Mwanza by Aga Khan Health Services Tanzania and Aga Khan Foundation Tanzania. The project aims at strengthening and expanding the quality, access, and capacity of cancer care services in the country with funding support from Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The project’s 4 major objectives include:
a) Improve and expand existing oncology infrastructure to provide more comprehensive oncology care through health systems strengthening,
b) Build the capacity of staff in participating institutions to provide high quality cancer care by trained specialists, and train and retain local professionals through accredited programs,
c) Strengthen community cancer care practices by delivering affordable, comprehensive health care services for preventive services including primary prevention, screening, and early detection and,
d) Develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders and participating institutions on joint research agenda and initiatives.
For further communication:
Monitoring and Evaluation, Manager
+255 762 979 177