More than 50% of the global burden of disease Is now due to non-communicable disease and disproportionately affects low and middle Income countries. Today, cancer Is the second leading cause of deaths globally with 70% of all cancer deaths occurring In developing countries. Morocco's cancer burden Is increasing and therefore, the country has prioritized cancer prevention and control as part of its health strategy. To achieve the goal of reducing the national cancer burden Morocco is strengthening Its two population based cancer registries has opened new cancer treatment hospitals In underserved regions and a breast cancer and cervical cancer screening facility In Its capital. Finally, Morocco has allocated funding for cancer research. However much remains to be done including documenting the cancer distribution and the factors associated wlth cancer, as well as treatment outcomes to Inform cancer prevention and treatment guidelines nationally. Currently, Morocco does not have a cadre of experts with advanced public health degrees or formal training In cancer research. Recognizing this limitation Morocco has expressed the interest in developing training programs.
The aim of this planning grant is to systematically assess cancer research and cancer research training needs in Morocco and to develop a cancer research training program that will begin to address the nations'needs. To do so, this planning grant proposes a partnership between the Moffitt Cancer Center &Research Institute which has a strong portfolio in cancer prevention and control research, the University of Florida (UP) which can provide training in cancer epidemiology and public health, and the National Institutes of Health in Morocco, a public health institution in charge of supporting the development of the country's cancer research and research training capacity and developing its own capacity in that domain. NIH Morocco will partner with several institutions within Morocco including the colleges of medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Fez and Marrakesh. This planning grant comes at an exciting and pivotal time in our cancer research collaboration efforts with Morocco and builds on existing collaborations in infectious disease research.
Funding in cancer research training will allow low income countries to address their cancer research needs develop opportunities for multidisciplinary research both in the U.S. and in Morocco, and support cancer that will benefit the U.S. through elucidation of cancer risk factors and cancer disease progression..