Image courtesy of the Elekta Foundation
February 7, 2023 — During World Cancer Day (February 4), the Elekta Foundation celebrated its first year by highlighting its achievements and coming initiatives to improve access to cancer care in low-income countries. Rwanda’s Minister of Health organized an event for health care officials, politicians, and non-profit organizations, including the Elekta Foundation’s Chairman of the Board, Cecilia Wikström, and its President, Lacy Hubbard, at the Kigali Convention Centre in the capital.
Under the theme ‘Together, we can eliminate cervical cancer’, participants shared new evidence and best practices.
In its first year, the Foundation focused on awareness and prevention, specifically related to cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the leading cause of cervical cancer and the Foundation provided testing for 20 thousand women in Rwanda, and several hundred others were treated for precancerous lesions. This model is scalable and the Foundation plans to replicate in other African countries.
“Eliminating cervical cancer requires strong alliances and innovative new collaborations, and effective health education at all levels,” said Cecilia Wikström. “We are very happy with the work we have done, developing a comprehensive model that includes all stages, from screening, early detection to all kinds of treatment. These accomplishments have been made possible by the generous support of Elekta’s investors, who share our commitment to improving healthcare for all.” She added: “We strive to make a long-lasting impact for people living with cancer in underserved and developing countries, not only in Africa, but wherever this gap exists in the world.”
In addition to Cecilia Wikström, the Board of Directors for the Elekta Foundation includes Elekta’s Founder and Chairman of the Board, Larry Leksell, and Tomas Puusepp, former CEO of Elekta.
Lacy Hubbard said that one of the Foundation’s focus areas is expanding training and education. “We are excited about and proud of our achievements in such a short time, and now look forward to another year of success. The Foundation will continue to support programs in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically in Uganda, Kenya and Senegal, using the knowledge gained from this initial phase to expand our initiatives to surrounding countries and regions.”
On Sunday, February 5, several Elekta Foundation partners also participated in an activity organized by the Ministry of Health, ‘Walk to Eliminate Cervical Cancer’, with the purpose of raising awareness of the disease.
For more information: https://www.elektafoundation.com/