Like many LMICs, Tanzania struggles with a ballooning number of cancer cases across the country, and limited resources to treat them comprehensively. Almost 75 percent of cases are diagnosed at a late stage, a major challenge that affects survival rates.
On 10 April 2022 the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam laid the foundation stone for its state-of-the-art cancer care centre, which upon completion in March 2024 will serve as a key hub for the innovative Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP) and provide 1.7 million people with better screening, early diagnosis and quality treatment.
TCCP, launched by the Aga Khan Health Services in January 2020 and funded by Agence Française de Développement and the Aga Khan Foundation, has the goal of reducing cancer morbidity and mortality in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza. It is working to improve and expand the existing health infrastructure for oncology; build the capacity of staff at participating institutions; strengthen community cancer awareness and engagement; and develop a joint research agenda amongst project collaborators to inform future programming and investments.
The new centre will also support the establishment of basic cancer care services in 100 public primary-care health facilities in the targeted regions. Once the new centre is open a considerable portion of cancer patients who currently cannot afford treatment will be able to secure welfare support to treat their disease.