fighting cancer in Africa

Cancer is emerging as a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa, with a cancer burden that is only growing.

In 2012, there were an estimated 626 400 new cases of cancer and 447 700 deaths from cancer in the region. The World Health Organization projects that by 2030, close to 1 million people will die of cancer each year in sub-Saharan Africa. For every four people who die of HIV/AIDS, there will be three who die of cancer2.

For many types of cancer, the risk of getting cancer and the risk of dying from it are nearly the same in this region, because of late stage at diagnosis and lack of treatment.1 This is a reality that Paul Miller, CEO of Cipla Medpro, is all too aware of. “These alarming cancer statistics show the desperate need for increased access to cancer medication,” he said.

Cipla has never shied away from a challenge. In the early 2000s, when Africa was buckling under the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the immense costs of providing people with ARVs, Cipla succeeded in providing these life-saving medicines at a mere dollar a day. Our efforts didn’t stop there and today the cost is down to just 20 US cents per day.

This is the kind of hope Paul has for Cipla’s mission of fighting cancer in Africa. This problem is a complex one – demanding cooperation and a shared vision. This is why Cipla has teamed up with the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and other pharmaceutical companies to increase access to affordable cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, into Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

This collaboration will substantially reduce the cost of life-saving cancer treatment to these countries. “With an estimated 44 % of all cancer cases in the greater region occurring within these six countries3, this deal is bound to be life-changing for many individuals,” Paul emphasises.

Watch the video to learn more about this ambitious project and how it aims to change people’s lives by giving them something so basic – affordable, accessible healthcare.


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