In 2002, a Pacific Cancer Intiative was formed between American Samoa and nine other jurisdictions in the United States Association of Pacific Island Nations (USAPIN). From this initiative, the Cancer Council of the Pacific Islands (CCPI) was formed and funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to assess the cancer burden on each jurisdiction. In 2004, the assessment showed that cancer was the second leading cause of death in American Samoa. With this information, it was decided that a coalition, made of government and non-government organizations needed to be formed to reduce the incidence of cancer morbidity and mortality on island.
Currently many partnerships (both locally and nationally), fundraising events, and projects have been established. Our membership has grown and a 7 member Board of Directors leading the way. Now we are a non-profit organization whose main goal is to eliminate cancer on island. But, this goal can not be reached by one organization alone. A collaborative effort between a diverse group of stakeholders or partners is needed, because we must remember:
Ua o gatasi le futia ma le umele.
We must be of one mind in the undertaking.
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