The National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities has awarded a grant of $333,777 to the American Samoa Community Cancer Coalition for the American Samoa Indigenous Samoan Partnership to Initiate Research Excellence (INSPIRE) in Colorectal Cancer Health Literacy project.
In 2002, a Pacific Cancer Initiative 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.
A coalition, made of government and non-government organizations was formed to reduce the incidence of cancer morbidity and mortality on island.
Today, the American Samoa Community Cancer Coalition partners with other like-minded groups around the world in the fight against cancer through education and prevention.
In announcing the award, Congresswoman Aumua Amata said the grant will assist in local efforts to educate our people about the dangers of colorectal cancer, and the benefits of early detection through screening.
She said, “Educating the public about these health issues can often be the most effective way of preventing them.”
She thanked those responsible for the grant including Francine Amoa who worked to obtain these funds and acknowledged officials of the National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities for their recognition of the issue in the Pacific island.
Amata said, “Through collaborative research and continued reliable funding, we can eradicate this horrible disease.”