The host of diseases that are under the cancer noun umbrella have become one of humankind’s biggest killers of our age. Hence, it is important to be able to do population screenings and records, which can inform health authorities and governments’ public health decisions and policies. Unfortunately, there are countries that have had difficulties to put in place such system, many of them African. North-South co-operation should be used as an essential tool to address those issues, as it is clear in the
17th Sustainable Development Goal: PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS.
In this case, partnerships to implement countrywide Public Health Policies related to cancer, which are in themselves the fulfillment of the:
3rd SDG: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.
The NOVA’s Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has been at the co-operation forefront with Africa, in terms of health professionals’ training, for almost 120 years. This has created a network of alumni among African Portuguese Speaking Countries that promote local health – be it as physicians, activists or politicians – and contribute to the research done at GHTM R&D Centre, whose results are returned to those nations for their benefit.
GHTM’s Research Group dedicated to Health Policies and Planning, Human Resources for Health and Health determinants of vulnerable populations is PPS – Population health, policies and services.
It is led by Prof. Maria do Rosário Oliveira Martins, a distinguished awarded academic – recently received the Gold Medal commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by unanimous deliberation of the Jury of the 2020 Human Rights Award of the Portuguese Parliament – with an impressive scientific career and a long history of co-operation with Africa.
PPS RG, continuing IHTM’s tradition of North-South partnership, is now involved in the creation of the «Cape Verde Population-Based Oncology Register».
The project stems from the joint efforts of GHTM’s PPS, the Ministry of Health of Cape Verde, and the American NGO «Vital Strategies», who funds it.
The official launch in Cape Verde was on the World Cancer Day 2022, 4th of February, in Mindelo, capital of S. Vicente Island, with the presence of the project manager and coordinator of the Program for the Prevention and Control of Cancer Diseases of Cape Verde, dr. Carla Barbosa, and the technical partners from Portugal, Professors Lúcio Lara Santos (IPO-Porto) and Maria do Rosário Oliveira Martins (GHTM | IHTM-NOVA),
At the ceremony also were, among other attendees, the clinical directors of the 2 central hospitals of Cape Verde (Hospital Agostinho Neto and Baptista de Sousa Hospital), the National Director of Public Health, Dr. Jorge Barreto, the President of the National Institute of Public Health, Dr. Maria da Luz Mendonça and the Minister of Health, Dr. Arlindo do Rosário.
This initiative is another example of how GHTM contributes to the implementation of health systems and policies – 3rd SDG – in Africa, fulfilling its Vision Statement:
«Our vision is to reinforce our leadership as a R&D institution on global health and tropical medicine bridging across CPLP institutions in a worldwide context.»