The Pfizer Foundation announced a groundbreaking $33 million multi-year program to address the emerging challenges in cancer and tobacco control. The first round of the Global Health Partnerships grants has already been awarded to 15 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in 26 countries around the world - from Algeria, China and Japan to Italy, Brazil and Argentina. The program reflects both the Pfizer Foundation and Pfizer's global commitment to working with a diverse group of local NGO experts towards improving the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and reducing the disease's incidence and burden.
Cancer accounts for one in eight deaths globally- more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. In the 20th century, the tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) 2008 report the global tobacco epidemic, by 2030, there will be more than 8 million deaths every year unless urgent action is taken. An estimated 80 percent of these deaths will occur in developing countries, which are least prepared to address their growing cancer burdens. That is why The Pfizer Foundation Global Health Partnerships: Advancing Cancer and Tobacco Control is supporting innovative public health programs together with Pfizer Inc offices in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Jointly funded by the Pfizer Foundation and Pfizer Inc, the initial grants will help cancer and tobacco control organizations build their capacity through training and technical assistance, establish national cancer control plans and improve patient services.
"The Pfizer Foundation has a solid history as a pioneer in helping advance effective programs to improve health care delivery and disease prevention," said Robert Mallett, president of the Pfizer Foundation. "Cancer has no boundaries; it is only through continuous investments in research for new treatments and medicines that we can overcome this global health crisis. This program can help us have a measurable impact in advancing cancer and tobacco control efforts around the world."
For the past five years, the Foundation has been supporting the American Cancer Society's programs in Latin America and China to provide training in patient advocacy, research, needs assessments and strengthen grassroots efforts around tobacco control. These programs are already making important gains in building the capacity of local cancer and tobacco control organizations.
"Many regions of the developing world are experiencing an epidemiological transition, and the American Cancer Society is well-positioned to foster the growth of the cancer NGO movement in critical markets like Latin America, Africa and Asia where intervening now with cancer prevention and control strategies will save lives and end suffering," said John R. Seffrin, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society. "These Pfizer Foundation grants enable us to build cancer control capacity in parts of the world that are most vulnerable to the growing global cancer burden and to advance our mission of saving lives and ending suffering from this disease for all people across the world.
The grants will also improve information sharing among cancer and tobacco control leaders and help develop targeted interventions and education campaigns.
"The most effective approach to controlling cancer is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. By applying evidence-based research, it is possible to prevent about 40 percent of the more than 11 million cancer cases that occur each year throughout the world," said Dr. Franco Cavalli, president of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). "Through these Pfizer Foundation grants, healthcare providers will be able to better measure knowledge and attitudes around cancer risks and develop public health programs to strengthen risk-reduction behaviors."
In keeping with the Foundation's rigorous evaluation standards, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health has been selected to evaluate the Global Health Partnerships program.
"Measurement is an essential component of any effective grant process," said Dean Michael Klag, MD, MPH of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Assessing the effectiveness of the programs over time against definitive and measurable goals will allow Pfizer Inc and the Pfizer Foundation and its partners to measure the overall impact on various communities and cancer patients around the world."