McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer receives World Health Organization designation for another term

Friday 30 September, 2022

The McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer has been redesignated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Law and Noncommunicable Disease for a further four years.  

Ongoing status as a WHO Collaborating Centre, which began in 2018, means the McCabe Centre will continue to provide expert advice and support to WHO and member states in the Western Pacific region and beyond. This includes activities to build capacity of low- and middle-income countries to use law to address noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer and to progress universal health coverage. 

Globally, NCDs are a major cause of poverty and a barrier to economic and social development. With four out of five people with an NCD living in low- and middle-income countries, the prevention and control of NCDs continues to be a critical development issue. 

McCabe Centre Director, Hayley Jones, said the McCabe Centre is looking forward to continuing the work of the past four years, which have seen the COVID-19 pandemic emphasise the need for equitable and accessible healthcare.  

“We know that NCDs are associated with greater risk of complications from COVID-19, and there have been significant disruptions to vital NCD treatments and services during the pandemic,” Hayley said.  

“Rising to meet these challenges and disruptions throughout the pandemic, and to rebuild capacity in years to come, will require a concerted effort from governments, healthcare professionals and communities. Law can play such an important role in these efforts, through reducing risk factors for NCDs and ensuring a more equitable health system. 

“We’re honoured and excited to be able to continue working closely with WHO on capacity building activities, including our International Legal Training Program, to meet these needs and continue to work collaboratively to advance equitable health care for all people.”  

Cancer Council Victoria CEO, and former President of the NCD Alliance, Todd Harper congratulated the McCabe Centre on the designation.  

“The McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer is a one-of-a-kind organisation, promoting law as an effective and essential tool in the prevention and control of cancer and other NCDs,” he said.  

“The continuation of this partnership is a wonderful way to share Australian expertise and innovations like tobacco plain packaging laws, as well as learning from global efforts to reduce the impact of cancer and other NCDs.” 

The McCabe Centre’s work as a WHO Collaborating Centre to date has included publications such as ‘Multisectoral coordination to address NCDs through law: Good practices from the Western Pacific Region’, a regular newsletter on developments in NCD laws and the forthcoming ‘Compliance and enforcement of laws for the prevention of NCDs’. 

WHO Collaborating Centres are designated by the WHO Director-General to carry out activities in support of WHO programmes. The primary purpose of a WHO Collaborating Centre is to provide expert advice and support to WHO in specific areas for which it is designated. The designation of a WHOCC typically reflects recognised expertise and many years of both national and international collaboration and leadership. 

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