Daily Archives: May 6, 2015

Elekta to bring cancer treatment to millions in Africa

– Elekta’s Ian Alexander says current lack of treatment is “totally unacceptable”
STOCKHOLM and PRETORIA, South Africa, May 6, 2015 / PRNewswire — In Africa, cancer kills more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined[1]. Approximately 40 percent of cancer cases can be prevented[2] and 40 percent can be cured with the right treatment[3]. Together with Elekta, ministries of health in almost a dozen African nations are working to build up their radiation therapy infrastructures and save lives.

More than 50 percent of all cancer patients worldwide would benefit from radiation therapy[4] during the course of their disease, either as the sole therapy or in combination with surgery and chemotherapy. Despite being home to 85 percent of the world’s population, less than 35 percent of the world’s radiotherapy facilities are in low-income countries[5]. Africa is a prime example of the shortfall that leaves most cancer patients in low-income countries without access to potentially life-saving radiation therapy treatment.

Ian Alexander, Executive Vice President of Elekta’s Region Europe, Africa, Latin America and Middle East, says: “Most sub-Saharan countries lack the facilities and trained personnel necessary to provide effective prevention, early detection or adequate treatment of cancer. Elekta is striving to introduce to these countries value-based health systems that deliver high-quality care at low total costs.”

Access to radiation therapy on the continent has been hampered by a variety of factors, including education and training. Elekta is committed to improving these circumstances and is investing substantially in its Learning and Innovation Center (LINC) training facility in Cape Town (South Africa). Here, clinicians can learn more about the use of linear accelerators, oncology information systems and treatment planning systems. The company is also actively working to address the unmet need for radiation therapy solutions.

“It is totally unacceptable that fewer than half of Africa’s cancer patients have access to any treatment services,” Alexander says. “Elekta is determined to change the outlook for millions of patients in Sub-Saharan Africa, by providing affordable solutions.”

Facts:
In 2015, Elekta is engaged in
providing cancer management
solutions in several sub-Saharan
countries, including:

Angola
Hospital da Casa de Seguranca de
Presidente da Republica Luanda
will install a Versa HD(TM) linear
accelerator (linac), an Elekta
Synergy(R) linac with Agility and
a Flexitron(R) remote afterloading
platform. The linacs and
brachytherapy systems represent
the first such units in Angola.

Kenya
Kenyatta National Hospital is
installing Kenya’s first Elekta
Synergy Platform system, which is
also the country’s first public
sector linac.

Mozambique
Hospital Central de Maputo will
install the country’s first Elekta
Synergy Platform linear
accelerator and Flexitron remote
brachytherapy afterloading
platform.

Namibia
Namibian Oncology Center is the
site of the nation’s first-ever
linear accelerator, an Elekta
Synergy with Agility.

Senegal
An Elekta Synergy with Agility will
be installed in a new radiotherapy
center currently under
construction in Dakar.

South Africa
The Oncology Centre (Durban), a
clinic of Equra Healthcare, has
begun treating patients with the
country’s first Versa HD system.
Equra also is using MOSAIQ(R)
Oncology Information System at 26
sites with remote treatment
planning, uniting all sites under
a single database and making it
the single largest MOSAIQ cluster
in the world.

In September 2015, Inkosi Albert
Lathuli Central Hospital, Durban,
will begin the clinical use of two
Versa HD linacs together with
MOSAIQ.

Uganda
Mulago University Hospital is
installing Uganda’s first
brachytherapy system, an Elekta
Flexitron remote afterloading
platform.

Zimbabwe
Harare Onco Care will site an
Elekta Synergy system with
Agility. The customer has five
hospitals and is planning to
become the leading provider of
private radiotherapy services in
the country.
———————————
For further information, please contact:
Gert van Santen, Group Vice President Corporate Communications, Elekta AB
Tel: +31 653 561 242, e-mail: gert.vansanten@elekta.com
Time zone: CET: Central European Time
Kris Walmsley, Corporate Communications Manager, Elekta AB
Tel: +46 70 537 9545, e-mail: kris.walmsley@elekta.com
Time zone: CET: Central European Time

About Elekta
Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care. Stretching the boundaries of science and technology, providing intelligent and resource-efficient solutions that offer confidence to both health care providers and patients, Elekta aims to improve, prolong and even save patient lives.

Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 6,000 hospitals worldwide. Elekta employs around 3,800 employees globally. The corporate headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on NASDAQ Stockholm. Website: www.elekta.com.

[1] World Health Organization
[2] UICC, World Cancer Day fact sheet
[3] IAEA, Inequity in Cancer Care: A Global Perspective
[4] International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics: Bringing Global Access to Radiation Therapy: Time for a Change in Approach
[5] IAEA, Inequity in Cancer Care: A Global Perspective

Jacobs Foundation Launches TRECC to Partner with World Cocoa Foundation’s CocoaAction

$52 Million Investment in Education in Cote d’Ivoire Announced as Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action

MARRAKECH, Morocco, May 6, 2015 / PRNewswire — Today, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Middle East & Africa meeting, in partnership with the cocoa industry strategy CocoaAction, coordinated by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), the Jacobs Foundation launched TRECC (Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities), a seven-year Commitment to Action to enhance education, empower women, and help protect children in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa-growing communities. TRECC will work alongside CocoaAction to accelerate sustainability by reaching cocoa farmers with much needed productivity and community development support.

TRECC will transform education in Côte d’Ivoire through efforts focused on six interlinked action areas, including research, capacity building, matching grants, impact investing, engagement with other donors, and policy strengthening. According to the Education Policy and Data Center, 62 percent of youth ages 15-24 have not completed primary school in the West African nation.

“The World Cocoa Foundation is delighted to collaborate with the Jacobs Foundation through CocoaAction to directly benefit the education of 200,000 children in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire,” said Barry Parkin, chairman, World Cocoa Foundation, and chief sustainability officer and health & wellness officer, Mars, Incorporated.

WCF’s CocoaAction strategy, launched in May 2014, brings the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies together to accelerate sustainability and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers. CocoaAction develops meaningful partnerships between governments, cocoa farmers, and the cocoa industry to boost productivity and strengthen community development in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana – the leading cocoa producing countries in the world. CocoaAction intends to train and deliver improved planting material and fertilizer to 300,000 cocoa farmers and empower communities through education, child labor monitoring, and women’s empowerment. CocoaAction is measured against adherence to six key performance indicators, and the industry’s progress is publically reported on a regular basis.

“Our experience has taught us that education for a country’s poorest can only be successful if the necessary conditions are in place within the family, at work, and in society. It is also important to note that sustainable development cannot be achieved without education. We have therefore decided to take our activities in Africa to the next level with the TRECC program, in an effort to promote sustainable social and economic change in the region,” explains Lavinia Jacobs, chair of the Jacobs Foundation.

“Access to a quality education is a key component to growing the capacity of both individuals and communities. TRECC is an unprecedented commitment to improve education in Côte d’Ivoire, and WCF is optimistic that additional partners will follow Jacobs Foundation’s lead to ensure cocoa sustainability through CocoaAction,” said Bill Guyton, president, World Cocoa Foundation.

To learn more about TRECC, please visit www.jacobsfoundation.org. To learn more about CocoaAction, visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org/cocoaaction.

About WCF: The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector. WCF provides cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and socially and economically strengthen their communities. WCF’s members include cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. WCF’s programs benefit farmers and their communities in cocoa-growing regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. For more information, visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Jacobs Foundation: The Jacobs Foundation is active worldwide in promoting child and youth development. It was founded in Zurich, Switzerland, by entrepreneur Klaus J. Jacobs in 1989. The Jacobs Foundation allocates a budget of approximately 40 million Swiss francs per year to fund research projects, intervention programs, and scientific institutions. It is committed to scientific excellence and evidence-based research. www.jacobsfoundation.org

About the Clinton Global Initiative: Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 190 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made nearly 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

In addition to the Annual Meeting, CGI convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States; and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. This year, CGI will also convene CGI Middle East & Africa, which will bring together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

“Record displacement should be a wake-up call”

Listen /

Some of the 1.3 million internally displaced people in South Sudan. Photo: UN / Martine Perret

The spread of armed conflict which left a record 38 million people homeless in 2014 should be a “wake-up call” to governments and the international community, humanitarian experts said Wednesday.

A study of 60 countries conducted by UNHCR partner the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found that 30,000 people fled their homes every day last year, a level not seen in 10 years of reporting.

Head of NRC Jan Egeland said it was a sign that the world had “fundamental problems” in protecting the vulnerable from “armed brutal men”.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Describing the situation as the worst in a generation, Norwegian Refugee Council chief Jan Egeland called the rise in internally displaced people “relentless”.

The problem is particularly bad in the Middle East and Africa.

Egeland said that national conflicts had been allowed to get out of control and this had a “domino effect” on internal displacement in other countries.

“We are seeing this happening because we states or authoritarian states are not willing or able to protect their own population, and because the international community is not willing or able to do as we promised to protect the vulnerable and the innocent.”

Iraq is a case in point, Egeland said.

The country had the highest numbers of internally displaced people in 2014 at 2.2 million, all forced to flee Isis extremists, the NRC chief said.

According to the NRC report Syria saw an additional 1.1 million people newly displaced last year, with 7.6 million homeless in total.

In Africa, conflict in South Sudan left 1.3 million displaced, while Congo and Nigeria added more than two million to the overall total.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1’15”

 

Les dirigeants africains de la santé publique unis pour mettre fin aux décès évitables et améliorer la santé des femmes, des enfants et des adolescents d’ici 2030

– Les parties prenantes au niveau régional se réunissent pour façonner une Stratégie mondiale pour la santé de la femme, de l’enfant et de l’adolescent

JOHANNESBURG, 6 mai 2015 / PRNewswire – Des centaines de dirigeants et d’experts en santé publique de toute l’Afrique se réunissent aujourd’hui pour identifier des interventions susceptibles de changer la donne en vue d’accélérer l’évolution vers une amélioration de la vie de millions de femmes, d’enfants et d’adolescents. Cette consultation permettra de fournir une feuille de route – la nouvelle Stratégie mondiale pour la santé de la femme, de l’enfant et de l’adolescent – pour mettre fin aux décès évitables de femmes, de nouveau-nés, d’enfants et d’adolescents d’ici 2030, qui sera lancée en même temps que les nouveaux objectifs de développement durable (ODD), en septembre. Cette stratégie révisée s’appuiera sur la Stratégie mondiale pour la santé de la femme et de l’enfant, lancée en 2010 par le Secrétaire général de l’Organisation des Nations Unies (ONU).

« Au cours des deux dernières décennies, le monde a enregistré des progrès sans précédent en termes de promotion de la santé des femmes et des enfants. En 2013, il y a eu 6,4 millions de décès d’enfants en moins par rapport à 1990 et durant la même période, le nombre de décès de femmes durant la grossesse et l’accouchement a été réduit de près de moitié », a déclaré Graça Machel, Présidente du Partenariat pour la santé de la mère, du nouveau-né et de l’enfant (PMNCH). « Les dirigeants africains ont été à la pointe de ces efforts, comme l’a démontré la Campagne pour l’accélération de la réduction de la mortalité maternelle, néonatale et infantile en Afrique et les nombreux engagements pris par rapport à la Stratégie mondiale initiale. »

Malgré de considérables progrès, l’ampleur du problème reste immense : en 2013, 17 000 enfants de moins de cinq ans mouraient encore chaque jour. En outre, environ 225 millions de femmes qui souhaitent empêcher ou retarder une grossesse n’utilisent pas de méthodes contraceptives modernes et chaque heure, 33 femmes meurent de causes évitables liées à la grossesse et à l’accouchement. Plus de la moitié des décès maternels surviennent pour la seule Afrique subsaharienne. Pour atteindre les objectifs mondiaux pour la santé de la femme et de l’enfant d’ici 2030, on estime avoir besoin de 5,24 dollars US supplémentaires par personne et par an. Les appels pour accroître les financements soulignent la nécessité que les investissements soient prévisibles et durables, mais aussi que leur efficacité soit croissante.

« Des femmes et des enfants en bonne santé sont la base de sociétés stables, productives », a déclaré le Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Ministre de la santé de la République sud-africaine. « Assurer la santé de chaque femme, enfant et adolescent n’en sera que plus urgent à mesure que la prochaine génération grandira. Nous avons déjà affaire à la plus grande proportion de jeunes de l’histoire et il est estimé que dans 35 ans, l’Afrique sera le foyer de plus d’un tiers de la jeunesse mondiale. Imaginez que toutes ces jeunes femmes et tous ces jeunes hommes puissent être en bonne santé et élever une famille en meilleure santé. »

Cette réunion, organisée conjointement par le Ministère sud-africain de la santé et le mouvement du Secrétaire général de l’ONU Chaque femme, chaque enfant, avec le soutien du PMNCH et de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS), fait partie d’un vaste processus de consultation dans le but d’actualiser la Stratégie mondiale initiale. L’accent sera mis sur des solutions nouvelles et ciblées visant à surmonter les obstacles sociétaux et structurels pour la santé, tels que l’éducation, les droits légaux des femmes et des enfants et la nutrition. Compte tenu de l’évolution démographique en Afrique, la consultation aura une composante importante consacrée à la jeunesse.

Les parties prenantes débattront également de l’importance de mettre en place des systèmes de santé résilients, d’améliorer la qualité des services de santé et de parvenir à une couverture médicale universelle. Une attention particulière sera accordée aux populations vulnérables, comme les nouveau-nés et les adolescents, ainsi qu’à ceux vivant dans des États fragiles marqués par les conflits, les déplacements de population et les catastrophes naturelles, là où surviennent 60% des décès maternels évitables et 53% des décès d’enfants de moins de cinq ans.

« Une action concertée, des interventions à forte incidence et un niveau de financement suffisant et ciblé contribueront à amener des améliorations pour les femmes, les enfants et les adolescents au cours des 15 prochaines années », a déclaré Amina Mohammed, Conseillère spéciale du Secrétaire général de l’ONU pour la planification du développement après 2015. « La Stratégie mondiale actualisée peut nous aider à travailler tous ensemble de façon efficace pour faire en sorte que chaque femme, enfant et adolescent en Afrique subsaharienne et dans le monde survive, s’épanouisse et transforme sa communauté. »

Dans la foulée de la consultation, le Secrétaire général de l’ONU organisera un appel à l’action au haut niveau le 14 mai afin de mobiliser l’action et les dirigeants des pays du monde entier en faveur de la Stratégie mondiale actualisée. La stratégie sera débattue à l’Assemblée mondiale de la santé le 18 mai, puis officiellement lancée par le Secrétaire général de l’ONU en septembre 2015 en même temps que les ODD. Elle sera accompagnée d’un plan de mise en œuvre sur cinq ans qui peut être adapté pour répondre aux besoins et aux contextes spécifiques de chaque pays.

Chaque femme, chaque enfant

Chaque femme, chaque enfant est un mouvement mondial sans précédent qui mobilise et renforce l’action aux niveaux international et national : des pouvoirs publics, des organisations multilatérales, du secteur privé et de la société civile, afin de relever les principaux défis en matière de santé pour les femmes et les enfants.

Gouvernement sud-africain

Le Gouvernement sud-africain reconnaît que la réalisation de meilleurs résultats en matière de santé, en tant que pays, dépend de la capacité collective des partenaires d’établir des liens et de travailler de façon intersectorielle. Il s’investit pleinement dans l’amélioration de la vie des femmes et des enfants ; et la réduction de la mortalité maternelle et infantile constitue un domaine d’action privilégié pour l’Afrique du Sud. En 2012, l’Afrique du Sud a lancé la stratégie du nom de Campagne pour l’accélération de la réduction de la mortalité maternelle et infantile (CARMMA), fixant comme objectifs de réduire de plus de la moitié la mortalité maternelle et néonatale entre 2013-2014 et 2018-19.

Partenariat pour la santé de la mère, du nouveau-né et de l’enfant

Le Partenariat pour la santé de la mère, du nouveau-né et de l’enfant (PMNCH) est une alliance de 680 organisations s’articulant autour de sept catégories : pays partenaires ; organismes multilatéraux ; organisations non gouvernementales ; secteur privé ; professionnels des soins de santé ; universités, établissements de recherche et de formation ; et donateurs et fondations privés. Hébergé par l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé et lancé en 2005, le but du Partenariat est la réalisation des objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD), avec des femmes et des enfants qui puissent réaliser leur droit au niveau de santé le plus élevé qu’il est possible d’atteindre d’ici 2015 et au-delà.

African Public Health Leaders Unite to End Preventable Deaths and Improve Health of Women, Children and Adolescents by 2030

– Regional Stakeholders Convene to Shape Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health

JOHANNESBURG, May 6, 2015 / PRNewswire – Hundreds of leaders and public health experts from across Africa are gathering today to identify game-changing interventions to accelerate progress towards improving the lives of millions of women, children and adolescents. This consultation will provide a roadmap – an updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health – to end preventable deaths of women, newborns, children and adolescents by 2030, which will be launched alongside the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September. This revised strategy will build on the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, launched in 2010 by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General.

“Over the last two decades, the world has made unprecedented progress in advancing women’s and children’s health. In 2013, 6.4 million fewer children died than in 1990, and in this same time frame, deaths of women during pregnancy and childbirth were cut by almost half,” said Graça Machel, Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH). “African leaders have been at the forefront of these efforts, as demonstrated by the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality in Africa and the many commitments made to the original Global Strategy.”

Despite immense progress, the scale of the problem remains vast: As of 2013, 17,000 children under the age of five still die every day. Moreover, approximately 225 million women who want to prevent or delay pregnancy are not using modern contraceptives and each hour, 33 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Over half of maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa alone. To reach the global goals for women’s and children’s health by 2030, it is estimated that an additional US$5.24 is needed per person per year. Calls for increased funding stress the need for investments to be predictable and sustainable, as well as increasingly efficient.

“Healthy women and children are the bedrock of stable, productive societies,” said Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health of the Republic of South Africa. “Ensuring the health of every woman, child and adolescent will only become more urgent as the next generation grows. We are already grappling with the largest population of young people in history, and it is projected that in 35 years, Africa will be home to over a third of the world’s youth. Imagine if all of these young women and men could lead healthy lives and raise healthier families.”

This meeting – co-hosted by the South African National Department of Health and the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child movement, with support from PMNCH and the World Health Organization (WHO) – is part of a broad consultative process to update the original Global Strategy. It will focus on new and targeted solutions to addressing societal and structural barriers to health, such as education, legal entitlements for women and children, and nutrition. Given demographic shifts in Africa, the consultation will have a large youth component.

Stakeholders will also discuss the importance of building resilient health systems, improving the quality of health services and attaining universal health coverage. Particular attention will be paid to vulnerable populations, such as newborns and adolescents, as well as those living in fragile states marked by conflict, displacement and natural disasters, where 60% of preventable maternal deaths and 53% of under-five deaths occur.

“Unified action, high-impact interventions and sufficient, targeted financing will help drive progress for women, children and adolescents over the next fifteen years,” said Amina Mohammed, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning. “The updated Global Strategy can help us all work together effectively to ensure that every woman, child and adolescent in sub-Saharan Africa and across the globe survives, thrives and transforms their communities.”

Immediately following the consultation, the UN Secretary-General will host a high-level call to action on 14 May to mobilize commitments and leadership from countries around the world for the updated Global Strategy. The strategy will be discussed at the World Health Assembly on 18 May and then officially launched by the UN Secretary-General in September 2015 alongside the SDGs. It will be accompanied by a five-year implementation plan that can be tailored to meet country-specific needs and contexts.

Every Woman Every Child

Every Woman Every Child is an unprecedented global movement that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children.

Government of South Africa

The Government of South Africa recognises that success in achieving better health outcomes as a country depends on partners’ collective ability to build relationships and work across sectors. It is highly committed to improving the lives of women and children, and the reduction of maternal and child mortality remains a critical focus area for South Africa. In 2012, South Africa launched the Campaign on the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) strategy, setting goals to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality by more than half between 2013/2014 and 2018/19.

Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) is a partnership of 680 organizations from across seven constituencies: partner countries, multilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, professional healthcare associations, academic, research and training institutions, and private donors and foundations. Hosted by the World Health Organization and launched in 2005, the vision of the Partnership is the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, with women and children enabled to realize their right to the highest attainable standard of health in the years to 2015 and beyond.