Cancer Care in Pandemic Times: Building Inclusive Local Health Security in Africa and India

Banda, Geoffrey; Mackintosh, Maureen; Njeru, Mercy Karimi; Makene, Fortunata Songora and Srinivas, Smita eds. (2024). Cancer Care in Pandemic Times: Building Inclusive Local Health Security in Africa and India. International Political Economy Series. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.



This is a book about improving cancer care in Africa and India that is a child of its pandemic times. It has been collaboratively researched and written by colleagues in Kenya, Tanzania, India and the UK, working within a cross-country, multidisciplinary research project, Innovation for Cancer Care in Africa (ICCA). Since this was a health-focused research project, ICCA researchers during the pandemic not only continued to work on the cancer research project but were also called upon by their governments to respond to immediate pandemic needs. In combining these two concerns, for improving cancer care and responding to pandemic needs, our original project aims have been challenged, deepened and reworked. ICCA’s initial collaborative research focus included—against the grain of most global health literature—the potential role of enhanced local production of essential healthcare supplies for improving cancer care in African countries. The pandemic experience has strikingly validated these earlier findings on the importance of industrial development for health care. The pandemic crystallised for researchers and policymakers an often overlooked phenomenon: global health security is built on the foundations of strong local health security. We argue in this book that new analytical thinking from social scientists and others is required on how to build local health security. We use the “lens” of original research on cancer care in East Africa and India to build up an understanding of the scope for the development of stronger synergies between local health industries and health care, in order to strengthen local health security and develop tools for policy making. The rethinking and reimagining presented here is required for different African countries, for India and the wider world, and this research on cancer care has taught us that this imperative goes much wider than infectious diseases.

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