On 15 June 2021, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) joined hands for the second time to launch a new call on Saving Women’s Lives from Cancer.
The global partnership aims to identify, encourage and reward innovative proposals that accelerate progress in breast and cervical cancer control while strengthening national health systems, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). With more than 9.2 million cancer cases and 4.4 million women’s deaths each year, LMICs are the least prepared to deal with the global burden of the disease.The 2021 edition of Cancer Call is a continuation of a decade-long IsDB-IAEA partnership to support IsDB Member Countries in improving cancer control, diagnosis and prevention.
The Call is hosted by IsDB’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Department under the Engage Platform, a global innovation ecosystem working around six priority SDGs including SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing). Dr. Hayat Sindi, Senior Advisor to IsDB President on STI, and Supervisor of Communities Outreach Programme, observes that the IsDB-IAEA initiative shows the Bank’s support towards innovators to tap into the potentials of STI, and deliver tangible results in addressing cancer prevention, screening, diagnostics, and treatment services & infrastructure in the 57 MCs.
According to Dr. Sindi, the key strategic partnership priority of the Cancer Call falls in line with IsDB President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar’s P5P strategy: Public & Private sectors, Philanthropy, People and Partnerships.
In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) has come forward this year for a technical review and promotion of the Call, which has been aligned to WHO Cancer Initiative, that aims to accelerate elimination of breast and cervical cancer as a public health problem. Broad stakeholders– scientists, innovators, small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), private firms, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), governments, academic, research and development institutions – are invited to apply around two thematic areas, namely (a) Health promotion, community engagement and preventive programmes including HPV vaccination; and (b) Timely cancer diagnosis to minimise the diagnostic interval.
Four winners will be awarded US$ 50,000 cash each, with certificates of recognition under two broad categories: (1) Low-cost early detection and diagnostic solutions and (2) Capacity building projects in cancer promotion, prevention or treatment. The winning proposals will be judged on their innovativeness, impact and outreach and sustainability after going through a rigorous proposal assessment by independent committees from inside and outside the Bank.