A recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank on the state of health in Latin America reveals the country’s great success in the survival rate among the most deadly cancers in the region.
According to the study called “Health Outlook: Latin America and the Caribbean 2020”, the five-year net survival refers to the probability that cancer patients are alive five years after diagnosis.
Survival is expressed as a percentage between zero and one hundred, referring to the data in the five-year period, by age and sex, without taking into account the risk of dying from other causes.
“We are pleased to know that we are on the right track,” says the medical manager of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, Dr. Mario Ruiz Cubillo.
And he points out shared responsibility as a motivator for success: “Costa Ricans know that the Fund is committed to comprehensive cancer care and therefore, with increasing confidence, they respond to early detection tests, which are key to improving survival “
For the general manager Dr. Roberto Cervantes Barrantes “these results commit us to work stronger and more united to sustain that comprehensive care model that the Board of Directors has promoted since it designated cancer as an institutional priority in 2011”.
Dr. Cervantes highlighted the increase in the budget to treat the disease as an important factor in the approach to cancer: the investment in 2010 was 3 086 million colones, while in 2019 it was 35 365 million colones.
Joint responsibility: the Fund and users
The survival data is valuable because it reveals how the management of a country behaves, since it is necessary to have comprehensive care to treat each type of cancer in order to have more years of life.
This means timely diagnosis, treatment at the appropriate time and with the appropriate technologies and medications that must improve survival, but all this in the context of a balance for the sustainability of the health system, which allows us to continue providing detection and be prepared for patient follow-up.
For this reason, cancer survival is an indicator to evaluate the effectiveness of the health system as a whole, since it shows the comprehensive response of the health system to the disease, says Dr. Roy Wong McClure.
Dr. Wong draws attention to a key point in the success of the Fund: “the Institution makes an effort of comprehensiveness in the approach and synchrony in the three levels of care, which generates detection capacity throughout the territory and adaptation of specialized centers for timely and quality care.
And that effort begins with in-depth epidemiological analyzes that allow the regions to be characterized so that each of them can act in awareness of the disease risk map. In other words, the country has a broad approach and has laid out a serious work route at all levels.
Thus, in this international context, Costa Rica highlights in regional studies, such as the one published by the weekly “The Economist” two years ago, in which the country, together with Uruguay, was identified among the nations with the best comprehensive approach to cancer in the region. .
Constant evolution of the actions taken.
The effort for education and action has been significant in services. For example, tests to find breast, cervical, and colon and rectal cancer early are available in all regions of the country.
In this communal line of work, the efforts are extraordinary, both in their own management and in the search for allies with the participation of the Institution in successful public-private alliances, within the objectives of the National Development Plan.
The Fund participates with the NGO Aliarse, Auto Mercado and the Biblical Clinic to bring mobile mammography to rural areas with a highly dispersed population, among which are several indigenous territories. A work that has mobilized the municipalities and communal living forces.
In addition, as a great milestone in the prevention of cervical cancer, last year the papilloma vaccine was introduced and the project for the genetic detection of the human papilloma virus began in five pilot communities, with the aim of extending the model to the rest of the country more ahead.