This time of year is special for many of us as it embodies the importance of celebrating what is, reflecting on what was, and looking ahead to what can be.
As I take up my new role as Chair of World Ovarian Cancer Coalition Board, I am especially grateful to be part of this outstanding community of global advocates working tirelessly to improve survival and quality of life for every woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer – wherever she may live.
I am also proud of what this Coalition has achieved in the five short years since our inception. From a humble base of 30 supporting partner organizations at the outset, we now work with almost 200 patient advocacy organizations around the world.
World Ovarian Cancer Day, launched in 2013 and the seed from which the Coalition grew, is now firmly established as the flagship annual global ovarian cancer awareness raising event, having reached well over 18 million people last year alone.
The Every Woman Study™️, launched in 2018, has provided us with enormous insight, backed-up by high quality evidence, about the experiences of women living with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Through this work we have been able to develop a rallying call for action in the form of our Global Ovarian Cancer Charter.
I am also proud of the major strategic partnerships we have developed along the way; including with the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS), with whom we are partnering on the Every Woman Study™️: Low- and Middle-Income Edition that will be undertaken next year in close to 30 countries. These are big achievements that belong to us all.
As we face the New Year, I am ever mindful that despite our accomplishments, there is still so much more work to be done. Ovarian cancer incidence and mortality are on course to continue to rise, the gap between high- and low-resource settings is ever widening, and although we welcome the most recent advances, there are still many women with extremely limited treatment options.
As Chair, I am committed to ensuring that the Coalition provides global leadership and insight and that no woman with ovarian cancer is left behind. We will continue to support our outstanding partner organizations so that they can be as impactful as possible within their own settings and will foster and support the development of advocacy organizations where they currently do not exist. Through the Every Woman Study™️: Low- and Middle-Income Edition and our ambitious Ovarian Cancer Futures project to be launched in 2022, we will provide even more strategic evidence to back our call for transformational change in ovarian cancer outcomes and the actions required to achieve this. Most importantly, we will work with collaborators and partners who share our vision and passion and who also believe that ovarian cancer must be recognised as a global priority with a global action plan put in place.
I am hugely indebted to my fellow Board members, including our new Vice-Chairs, Robin Cohen, CEO of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation and Jane Hill, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Australia. Our most recent appointments to the Board, Runcie C.W. Chidebe from Nigeria and Rafe Sadnan Adel from Bangladesh bring to the table a genuinely global perspective and help round out our expanded and diversified Board.
We truly owe a debt of gratitude to our outgoing Chair, Elisabeth Baugh, for her leadership over these past five years. It has been an honour and privilege to have worked alongside her.
On behalf of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition thank you for everything you do and your unwavering commitment to all those affected by ovarian cancer. We wish you a prosperous and safe 2022.
Annwen Jones OBE
Chair, World Ovarian Cancer Coalition