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Policy Roundtable on The Need for Establishing a Provincial Cancer Registry

The Punjab Public Health Agency in collaboration with Prevention & Control of NCDs Punjab, organized a policy roundtable on the need for strengthening Cancer Registry in Punjab today. This was the seventh dialogue under PPHA’s Health Policy Roundtable Series. The roundtable was attended by leading oncologists, pathologists, public health data experts, and representatives from Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department and Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department. The participants reviewed the available cancer-related data and vehemently consented on need of a provincial cancer registry.

Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018 alone so far. Globally, 1 in 5 deaths occur due to cancer. Low and middle-income countries contribute to 70 percent of the global deaths due to cancer. Just lung and breast cancers affect approximately 4 million individuals annually and have so far contributed to 2.2 million deaths across the globe in 2018. In Pakistan, there are approximately 148,000 new cases of cancer annually making it the non-communicable disease with the highest contribution to national morbidity and mortality burden. The economic impact of cancer is significant and is increasing. Only one in five low and middle-income countries have the necessary data to drive effective evidence-based cancer research and policy.

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center (SKMCH&RC) reported a total of 6,587 new cases of cancers in 2016-17 alone. SKMCH&RC established a provincial cancer registry in 2005. The registry maintains an updated record of patients in Punjab. However, due to absence of similar database in public sector, there are limited government estimates of the provincial burden of cancer. The Government of Punjab is committed towards safe-guarding the health and well-being of the people and has therefore taken the initiative to strengthen the Provincial Cancer Registry. Through this Provincial Cancer Registry, the Punjab Department of Health envisions systematic data collection, storage, analysis and interpretation to drive evidenced-based decision making and policy development to promote healthier life-style choices, thereby reducing the burden of cancer in the province.

Objective

The objectives of the event were as follows;

  • 1. To understand the existing mechanisms of data reporting, collection and tools used by Shaukat Khanum’s Cancer Registry
  • 2. Highlighting gaps and challenges
  • 3. Way forward towards establishing a province-wide cancer registry

Attendees

The roundtable was attended by representatives, oncologists, pathologists, program managers and health policy practitioners from Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department, Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research center, LUMS, King Edward Medical University and Mayo Hospital, Fatima Jinnah Medical University and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Allama Iqbal Medical College and Jinnah Hospital, Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Chughtai Labs, PITB and other organizations

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