Founded in 2002 by President William J. Clinton, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to strengthening integrated health systems around the world and expanding access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and other illnesses. Based on the premise that business oriented strategy can facilitate solutions to global health challenges, CHAI acts as a catalyst to mobilize new resources and optimize the impact of these resources to save lives, via improved organization of commodity markets and more effective local management. By working in association with governments and other NGO partners, CHAI is focused on large scale impact and, to date, CHAI has secured lower pricing agreements for treatment options in more than 70 countries. In addition, CHAI's teams are working side-by-side with over 30 governments to tackle many of the largest barriers to effective treatment and care.
ACS and CHAI have launched a new program to expand access to cancer treatment in Africa. The program will focus on engagement with pharmaceutical manufacturers as well as in-country support to the governments of Nigeria and Ethiopia. We are building a small team of ambitious, creative individuals to design the strategy and drive the work.
The state of cancer treatment in Africa today looks similar to that of HIV in the early 2000s. There are effective tools to diagnose and treat cancer, but access is largely limited to wealthy countries. Sub-Saharan Africa’s cancer burden is significant and growing. In 2012, there were an estimated 626,400 new cases of cancer and 447,700 deaths from cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cancer incidence in Africa is projected to increase by 85% in the next fifteen years. Yet the global market for cancer treatment functions poorly for people with cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in high prices and limited availability. Chemotherapy is not accessible to the vast majority of patients who need it. And human resource gaps limit the number of patients able to access basic services.
Ethiopia, with a population of 94 million people, has 61,000 new cancer cases and 45,000 deaths from cancer each year. Cancer treatment is provided at one hospital in Addis Ababa, which has four oncologists, 18 beds, and two radiotherapy machines.
As a result, cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa is twice as lethal as in the United States. ACS and CHAI seek to close this gap.