A VOTE FOR DR ZAINAB SHINKAFI-BAGUDU IS A VOTE FOR GROWTH AND REPRESENTATION
Dear Distinguished Colleague,
On October 11th 2022, the Union for International Cancer Control will face a momentous choice. Once again, we shall decide who will serve the UICC as President-Elect and thereafter assume office with a mandate to lead the global effort to reduce the global cancer burden. I am thankful to have been shortlisted and I will be honoured to be elected. I am Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, a paediatrician, cancer care provider and advocate.
Join hands with me
Given your influential position within the cancer space, I am reaching out to you, to join hands with me, in ‘Closing The Care Gap’. I have a track record of delivering and making things happen. I tick all the right boxes… And more! I am available to discuss this further with you in the coming days; with more engaging content as well as opportunities to deepen the discussions. For now, I want to inform you of my key agenda.
Reaching out to new frontiers
My 3-point agenda:
Imminently, over 20 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year, the majority of them in the USA and Europe. A lot more will remain undiagnosed because they are either not aware or they cannot afford a diagnosis. Both situations require out-of-the-box and innovative solutions which I can provide, given my experience. We have to explore alternative funding mechanisms to fulfil our mandate for cancer control. Indeed, there is an urgency to expand the UICC resource mobilisation base.
In the past decade, the disparities and inequitable access to cancer screening, prevention and treatment between the developed North and the global South have dominated our conversations. Rightly so. According to the IAEA and WHO, in the coming decades, 7 out of 10 people who die of cancer will be in LMICs. We will partner with UICC member organisations and governments of those countries to upscale political commitment and action to enable enhanced awareness, education, and access to cancer treatment.
Climate change, slow post-COVID-19 recovery, and internal and international displacement of people due to war and conflict, have worsened the socio-economic hardship globally. This is personal. In Kebbi State, where I come from, devastating floods bankrupt farming communities, aggravating poor access to healthcare. If given the opportunity, I will establish a Task Force relevant to Climate Change and Cancer Control. This will provide policymakers with evidence for informed decisions and targeted investments. All these, to make cancer control a significant country-level objective with a global strategy, with UICC on the table.
What I bring to the table
I have worked hard over the past two decades to build an extensive global reach that I promise to leverage to expand our cause. I have worked “hands-on” through the entire spectrum of cancer care; from creating awareness in the most ‘hard-to-reach’ rural areas, to forming partnerships with multinational companies, academia and government on policies and programmes. I combine my clinical knowledge and public position with active advocacy to connect people with the greatest need for cancer care with circles of authority and influence.
Recently, I have expanded my experience to new platforms, including being on the UICC Board where I worked on the ATOM task force and the Commonwealth-UICC Cervical Cancer Elimination Task Force. I Chair the Kebbi State Cancer Control Programme, the First Ladies Against Cancer Initiative, and the governance, finance and advocacy committee of the Nigerian National Cancer Control Programme. I currently serve on WHO’s Global Breast Cancer Initiative TWG, Coalition to Strengthen HPV Immunization in Communities (CHIC, a joint program from John Hopkins, Jhpiego, University of Antwerp and Bill and Melinda Gates) among other policy and strategy committees both at home and internationally
With my relevant experience, including 4 years as a UICC board member, I am capable of imaginative leadership that can help bring growth and fulfil our mandate of a cancer-free life for all people, irrespective of where they live.
A clear vision and plan built on the UICC framework
The next four years is a pivotal phase for our Organisation. Technology and an ever-changing world economy are forcing changes. Now more than ever, dynamic management and an innovative board must lead the UICC. I am capable of providing such leadership.
Having a UICC President that understands and has lived on both ends of the world, is vital in shaping the agenda for new frontiers. For me, this is the right moment. The right moment to talk with you, for you; to showcase the UICC as being alert to current global dynamics. Together we will embrace changes in paradigms, for diverse abilities, equity and inclusion.