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Oncology. 2009;77(5):272-80. doi: 10.1159/000259258. Epub 2009 Nov 16.

The roles of national cancer research institutions in evolving a comprehensive cancer control program in a developing country: experience from Uganda.

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Uganda Cancer Institute, Mulago Hospital and the Makerere University School of Medicine, Kampala, Uganda.


With the increasing global cancer burden, especially in the developing world, the World Health Organization made the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and development of comprehensive national cancer control programs as key responses. Most countries in Africa lack the capacity to evolve a national cancer control program. This is mainly due to lack of resources. However, established cancer institutions could be used as resources for evolving a comprehensive national cancer program. Moreover, this has the appeal of presenting cancer control as an essential part of the public health response to disease. In Uganda, two cancer research institutions, the Uganda Cancer Institute and Kampala Cancer Registry, have contributed to initiation of a cancer control program. They have provided evidence on disease causation, burden and strategy for prevention, treatment and community involvement. Further, these institutions have created opportunities for international partnerships and collaborations in cancer research. Given the challenges of evolving a national cancer control program, each country should look internally for opportunities in existing cancer institutions as starting points for developing a national program. Evidence for feasibility should be provided to governments to help in formulating policies supportive of cancer control in these countries.

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