DAR ES SALAAM, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) --Tanzanian government and its two partners, the Aga Khan Health Services and the French Development Agency, on Monday signed a 13.3 million Euros (about 14.8 million U.S. dollars) grant agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve cancer care in the east African nation.
The funding will be run by the Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP), an innovative public-private project aimed at enhancing cancer care in Tanzania.
Under this funding, the French Development Agency will release a grant to the tune of 10 million Euros and 3.3 million Euros will be contributed by the Geneva-based Aga Khan Foundation, which is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Speaking shortly after the signing of the agreement in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's Deputy Minister for Health Faustine Ndugulile said with the rise in the prevalence of cancer in Tanzania, the project will serve to accelerate performance in cancer screening, prevention and early detection targeting low-income groups through mobile outreach campaigns.
Harrison Chuwa, a consultant oncologist at the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam and director of TCCP, said the project was a four-year plan designed to reduce the burden of cancer mortality and morbidity in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza regions.
Chuwa said under the project, the implementing partners will create an integrated health care network at local and hospital levels to accelerate performance in cancer care in the country.
Julius Mwaiselage, the Executive Director of the Ocean Road Cancer Institute, the country's leading facility for treating cancer patients, said the facility was currently receiving 64,000 cancer patients annually, compared to 30,000 patients received in 2015.