February 19, 2019
By: Pathsos Team

World Health Organisation Cancer Control Program

World Health Organization policy towards cancer control and treatment

  The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. WHO was built on 7 April 1948, and is housed in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Assembly. The WHO is currently working with 194 member states across 6 regions. WHO helps mothers and children live and prosper so they can look up to a healthy old age. They safeguard the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink and the medicines and vaccines they need. The constitution of the World Health Organization had been signed by 61 countries on 22 July 1946, with the first meeting of the World Health Assembly finishing on 22 July 1946. Each year, the organization marks World Health Day and other observances focusing on a specific health promotion topic. World Health Day falls on 7 April each year, timed to match the anniversary of WHO's founding. The World Health Organization's primary objective in natural and man-made emergencies is to coordinate with member states and other stakeholders to "reduce avoidable loss of life and the burden of disease and disability.

As of 2012, the WHO has defined its role in public health as:

  • Providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging in partnerships where joint action is needed
  • Shaping the research agenda and motivating the generation, translation, and propagation of respected knowledge
  • Setting ethics and promoting and monitoring their operation
  • Articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options
  • Providing technical support, catalyzing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity
  • Nursing the health situation and evaluating health trends.
  • CRVS (Civil Registration and Vital Statistics)to provide monitoring of vital events (birth, death, wedding, divorce).

Health policy

WHO addresses government health policy with two aims: firstly, "to address the underlying social and economic determinants of health through policies and programs that enhance health equity and integrate pro-poor, gender-responsive, and human rights-based approaches" and secondly "to promote a healthier environment, intensify primary prevention and influence public policies in all sectors so as to address the root causes of environmental threats to health. In terms of health services, WHO looks to improve "governance, financing, staffing and management" and the availability and quality of evidence and research to guide policy. It also strives to "ensure improved access, quality and use of medical products and technologies.

Policies, approaches, and action plans for health tools, specifically for medical devices, are required in any national health plan. Within the context of a vigorous health system they ensure entree to safe, effective, and high-quality medical devices that avert, diagnose, and treat disease and injury, and support patients in their rehabilitation.

WHO has developed a guidance document whose purpose it is to raise the awareness of the importance of developing and implementing health technology policies – comprised of regulatory, health technology management, and health technology assessment components – within the context of a national health plan. It addresses the role of medical devices in global health care and the prioritization of needs within Member States and discusses the key components of an effective policy, the organizational systems necessary for implementation of the policy, and the methodology for measuring progress. The World Health Assembly, WHO's supreme decision-making body, gathers annually at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. During this multi-day meeting, resolutions on key health issues are adopted to urge Member States and to request the WHO Director General undertake particular actions related to key health issues.

                           Cancer control

Each year, more than 300 000 women die of cervical cancer. More than half a million women are analyzed. Every minute, one woman is diagnosed. Cervical cancer is one of the greatest threats to women's health. Each death is a tragedy, and can be prevented. Maximum of these women are not analyzed early enough, and lack entree to life-saving treatment. Studies have shown that stoppage and initial treatment of cervical cancer is also highly cost-effective. Nine in 10 women who die from cervical cancer are in deprived countries. This means some of the most exposed women in our world are dying needlessly. Rising cervical cancer deaths is undermining health gains for women made in maternal health and HIV care. Current disparity in survival from cervical cancer, which varies between 33-77%, can be minimized.

  Cervical cancer is one of the most avoidable and curable forms of cancer, as long as it is sensed early and treated successfully. New diagnoses can be reduced in two ways, HPV vaccination and screening of the cervix with follow on treatment of primary changes before cancer appears. Currently, most women diagnosed with cervical cancer are diagnosed with advanced cancers, where chances for cure is small.

WHO is accelerating progress. WHO is working to ensure that all girls worldwide are vaccinated against HPV and that every woman over 30 is screened and treated for pre-cancerous wounds. To achieve that, innovative technologies and strategies are need. WHO is working to improve access to diagnosis and treatment of invasive cancers at their earliest stages and ensure that availability of palliative care for women who need it.

                 Cancer Prevention

In order to combat the global epidemic of cancer and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), it is imperative to create a baseline for monitoring trends and to assess the progress of countries in addressing the epidemic. 

The aim of the WHO Global Cancer Country Profiles is to synthesize, the global status of cancer prevention and control. Cancer treatment requires careful attention of evidence-based options, which can include more than one of the major therapeutic modalities: surgery, radiotherapy and systemic therapy. The assortment should be based on evidence of the best prevailing treatment given the means available. Every cancer treatments can exert a significant psychosocial and financial impact on a patient and his or her family that should be considered when developing fundamentals to advance access to and coverage of cancer amenities.