The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have partnered to launch an urgent call for innovation to find and reward solutions for strengthening national health systems in the area of breast and cervical cancer prevention. This can include early detection, diagnosis and treatment by expanding and scaling-up capacities for effective, safe and sustainable cancer services.

IsDB and IAEA have been working together over the past decade to deliver tangible results to address cancer prevention, screening, diagnostics and treatment services for women in common Member Countries. This collaboration has led to the realisation that there is an urgent need to further expand the IsDB-IAEA partnership to forcefully tackle the issue of women’s cancers.

The call for innovation invites scientists, Innovators, SMEs, private firms, non-governmental organisations, governments and academic or research and development institutions around the world, to propose ideas that innovatively contribute to women’s cancer services, including:

  •  Expansion of national breast and cervical cancer awareness raising programs;
  • Development of early cancer detection, diagnostic, and national preventive programs including sustainable and effective HPV vaccination programs;
  • Capacity building of cancer care professionals as well as upgrading of cancer care facilities.

Prizes of USD $50,000 will be awarded to four winners across two categories – early detection solutions and capacity building projects.

Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of the Islamic Development Bank said: “Developing new partnerships and strengthening existing partnerships is one of my key priorities for the Islamic Development Bank over the next five years. I am therefore proud to see the IsDB and the IAEA further expand the existing partnership to forcefully tackle the issue of women’s cancers. The partnership will contribute to saving over 1 million women’s lives from breast cancer and 3.7 million women’s lives from cervical cancer over the next decade.”

Dr. Hayat Sindi, Senior Advisor to the IsDB President, Science, Technology and Innovation, said: “Research shows that more than 8.6 million women are affected by largely preventable and treatable cancers. In Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs),  70% of deaths are attributed to women’s cancers that are preventable.

“These deaths could be avoided if prevention measures, proper cancer screening and treatment were in place. The need to address women’s cancers is a matter of priority and can be achieved by strengthening health systems and applying innovative methods to breast & cervical cancer prevention and treatment. The partnership between the IsDB and IAEA aims to save 1 million women’s lives from breast cancer and 3.7 million women’s lives from cervical cancer over the next decade and this call to innovation is an important initiative in the partnership.”