Cancer care in times of uncertainty, conflict and war

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Published: 22 Nov 2022
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Prof Richard Sullivan - King's College London, London, UK

Prof Richard Sullivan speaks to ecancer about cancer care in times of uncertainty, conflict and war.

Cancer is becoming a significant issue in long-term conflict areas as the population there is getting older there are more cancer cases being reported and there is a lack of resources to treat these patients.

Prof Sullivan highlights the issues of cancer care in times of uncertainty and conflict and what can be done to mitigate the challenges.

Hello, I’m Richard Sullivan from King’s College, London, from the Global Oncology group and Conflict and Health Research group. So I’m here with a number of colleagues from the Research for Health in Conflict team - Tezer Kutluk from Turkey, Debbie Mukherji from the American University of Beirut, and my colleague at King’s and at AUB, Fouad Fouad. We’ve been talking about uncertainty, cancer and conflict.

When you look around the world now there are nearly 100 million forcibly displaced people. They’ve been internally displaced or they have moved across borders and become refugees. This is a really unique, very vulnerable population. Most of them now are demographically transitioned and what we mean by that is they are a much older population from refugees we saw twenty or thirty years ago so they have much higher instances of cancer. So cancer is now becoming a really significant issue.

Most of those refugees are hosted in low- and middle-income countries and we’re really concerned about actually developing new models of care and also new financing packages to look after these refugees. So we’ve had two fantastic sessions exploring conflict in all its diversity, from the Middle East all the way through to Latin America, and asking the question what do we need to do in the research community to help push practice and policy along.