World Cancer Leaders Summit by ‘Lola James’
Oluwafunmiola James, MScPH
National Project Manager, Breast Without Spot.
According to an adage in my home Country-Nigeria, ‘even if a child has as many clothes as an adult, he/she can never have as many rags as an adult’.
The 2017 World Cancer Leaders Summit for me was yet another great opportunity to gather more ‘rags’ from the ever-enthusiastic older ones who have gone ahead of us. Those rags I gathered smelled of decades of experience of lessons-learnt in cancer control across the world, expressed-enthusiasm about the future of cancer control and surprisingly, a strong desire to remain teachable.
The investment and corresponding responsibility placed on us as young leaders is obviously huge and it was so exciting to see that the older ones not only wanting us to learn from them, they also eager to learn from us.
I couldn’t have been more convinced that I made the right decision to pursue a PhD in Implementation Science when I heard the words of Dr. Salomon Chertorivski, the secretary of economic development and former Minister of Health of Mexico that ‘the magic of health policy is implementation’.
I met with so many experienced cancer control mavens from organizations such as NIH, Pharma and dignitaries who were so eager to offer advice on what programs I should apply to for a PhD in Implementation science, the relevant courses to take when I get offers in colleges. There were those who wanted me to stay in touch because I might need their advice at any point and those who were just excited about my prospects as a young cancer leader forging ahead.
I left this year’s World Cancer Leaders Summit more hopeful and challenged that there are even more eyes looking out for us the young cancer leaders, more hearts hopeful about the future of cancer control because of us and more hands willing to hold ours till we can stand firm in this cause to control cancer in our world.