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Co-sourcing Sustainable Development for Women Cancers

Maura McCarthy May 27, 2021

The economic cost of cancer is estimated at up to 4% of global GDP. Cancer impacts national economies through increased health expenditures, labor and productivity losses, and reduced investment in infrastructure. Breast cancer is the leading cause of life years spent with disability in more than 100 countries, and cervical cancer in nearly 50 countries. Adding to this, socioeconomic determinants of health, such as education, housing, employment, culture, gender, and environment, contribute to the inequality of cancer incidence and outcomes and continues to increase over time. This doesn’t just make women’s cancers a public health concern, but also a concern of economics and education with a ripple effect into all development sectors. Financing of women’s cancer control and prevention has lagged severely behind other technical areas in low- and middle-income countries due to several factors, including high direct costs in treatment interventions without sufficient patient access and supportive markets.

In order to begin improving women’s health outcomes, we first need to consider how to improve the health ecosystem around breast and cervical cancers across the cancer continuum. This means evaluating opportunities for sustainable development from multiple and cross-cutting perspectives to ensure that interventions are not just one-off occurrences.

The growing burden of cancer, with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) bearing a large burden of cancer mortality, is at a critical inflection point with the global COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating and highlighting the critical gaps in healthcare infrastructure. LMICs have the opportunity to harness the learnings and momentum from the pandemic to accelerate the trend towards universal health coverage, digital health, and strong primary care networks. This will require an ecosystem-based approach, collaborating across country governments, ministries of health, community leaders, private sector, professional organizations, NGO’s and others to strengthen the health systems that are at the foundation of addressing the cancer burden in a holistic and equitable way.

We are challenging an entire ecosystem to engage on the intersection of economic factors and women’s health, and how we can navigate successful outcomes in both sectors by collaborating with unconventional systems and stakeholders that include:

  1. Investments: Innovative financing that comes from diversified resources and can include impact investing, entrepreneurship, strategic resource allocation, and other innovative financing tools to fill in financing gaps for efficient service delivery, supply chain and procurement, human resources, and more
  2. Decentralization of services: Focus on market-based solutions, de-fragmenting the cancer continuum to improve referral models and proportionally focus on decentralized services can lead to quicker screening-diagnostics-treatment pipelines. This includes integrating related services into other existing health practices and platforms.
  3. Multi-sectoral: Leveraging public-private partnerships and engaging both the private and public health and non-health sectors to develop innovative and scalable solutions that decrease the burden of women’s cancer
  4. Policy Framework: Increased national resources and accountability to programs and policies that increase access and education of women’s cancers
  5. Frontier Technology: Data and Tech-enabled solutions to appropriately monitor, manage, and inform women’s cancer programming
  6. Human-Centered and Community-led: Cultural beliefs, attitudes and structures can heavily impact or shape how a community interacts/engages with a health system. Community-demand generation is also a focal point in ensuring demand for disrupted services due to COVID-19.
  7. Integration: Ensuring that programming for women’s cancers is integrated into community settings and other health verticals at a facility and programmatic level

By understanding these key factors, their limitations, and how they depend on each other, decision-makers can further explore that intersection of economics and health, and create a stronger case for greater, diverse and cross-sectoral investments and partnerships in women cancers and ensure long-term sustainability. This Fireside Chat brings together two global leaders in market-based solutions for health:

  • The first is Wendy Taylor, global innovation leader and pioneer who has worked for the last 20 years catalyzing innovations to tackle some of the world’s toughest global health challenges. Wendy founded and built Bio Ventures for Global Health, led the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact (CII) at USAID, and currently serves as Vice President, Technical Leadership and Innovation at Jhpiego (an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University) – providing strategic leadership for key technical areas including Women Cancers.
  • The second is Dianne Young, the Head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics’ Global Access Program. Dianne has over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, both in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics and has focused on fostering favorable policy environments and creating sustainable business opportunities that strengthen local healthcare systems.

The chat with be moderated by Natasha Sunderji, Global Health Lead at Accenture Development Partnerships, with more than 15 years of experience advising organizations on growth strategy, business model design, digital health, and cross sector partnerships.

For more information on Jhpiego’s work in preventing and treating women’s cancers please visit:

For more information on Accenture Development Partnerships, please visit:


Fireside Chat

Meta Themes

  • Equity & Inclusion

  • Impact Investing

  • Stakeholder Economics & Leadership

  • Sustainable Development


Global Health, Women’s Cancers, Market Shaping, Public-Private partnerships, Private Sector Engagement, Gender & Equity

Purpose and Desired Outcome

This session will challenge our perspective on sustainable development through the lens of women’s cancers. We will explore how to elevate economies while improving health outcomes, best practices and approaches, what stakeholders should be involved and how to involve them, and why we need to start shifting the focus to the integration of holistic, ecosystem-based approaches.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Corporate & SME

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Government

  • Academia

  • Service Providers

  • Accelerators & Incubators


  • NameWendy Taylor
  • TitleVice President, Innovations and Technical Leadership Office
  • OrganizationJhpiego
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameNatasha Sunderji
  • TitleGlobal Health Lead
  • OrganizationAccenture Development Partnerships
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameDianne Young
  • TitleHead, Global Access Program
  • OrganizationRoche Molecular Diagnostics
  • StatusInvited
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