Merck Foundation Announces Grant to American Cancer Society to Improve Access to Cancer Care in Resource-Limited Settings
KENILWORTH, N.J., May 23, 2019 /3BL Media/ - The Merck Foundation (the Foundation) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) recently announced that the Foundation awarded a $1.99 million, five-year grant to ACS to improve support and access to care for people living with cancer in low-and-middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. This funding will help ACS further develop its capacity development approach to expanding patient navigation to countries with a growing burden of cancer.
More than 70% of the 9 million cancer-related deaths worldwide are in resource-limited settings, where patients face many barriers in seeking a timely diagnosis and receiving high-quality cancer care. Patient navigators—whether nurses providing cancer education or lay health workers linking patients to transportation services in the community—play a vital role in supporting patients from the point of diagnosis at a health facility through their treatment journey.
With support from the Foundation, ACS will fortify its patient navigation program in Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), a national referral hospital in Kenya, and adapt it for a high need facility in Uganda – The Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), which serves about 200 patients daily.
“We are excited about the American Cancer Society’s program to bring patient navigation services to cancer patients in areas of the world where care coordination is especially challenging” says Dr. Julie Louise Gerberding, chief patient officer, Merck and vice chair, Merck Foundation Board of Trustees. “Cancer patients deserve quality care delivered with compassion, regardless of where they live.”