AMPATH Oncology Preceptorships & Telemedicine Program

To address the disease burden and the significant shortage of oncology professionals in selected countries within East Africa, Takeda is working with AMPATH, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, as well as a host of North American academic centres led by Indiana University, to develop, implement and deliver formal training, education and mentorship for healthcare professionals operating across the oncology continuum of care. The initiative aims to help shape and influence the quality of cancer care in the region through i) the development and implementation of formal training programs for all cadres of healthcare professionals, and ii) the creation of an oncology skills lab at AMPATH, which includes skills training and skills lab training manuals.
 
Trainings are delivered both in-person, at the newly developed Kenya Oncology Training Institute, and through a telemedicine platform. The latter is an innovative method of furthering the training and support by leveraging information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancers, as part of continued education. The telemedicine platform is also used for virtual tumor boards, which allow healthcare professionals to reach more patients who typically wouldn’t have access to this care.
 
Telemedicine provides a unique channel to deliver support and care for patients living in rural areas who find it particularly challenging to reach healthcare facilities. The program facilitates one-on-one consultations with doctors on these platforms and via video calls where possible, enabling patients to receive immediate access and care. Telemedicine supports the extension of training courses, so healthcare providers can consult with doctors during real-time visits with patients. The platforms also increase collaborative trainings within the East, Central and Southern Africa community of oncology professionals.
 
As part of the initiative, we will create an online platform with an accessible database of all practicing and registered oncology professionals from East, Central and Southern Africa, which will include classification of services by location, qualifications of oncologists, and healthcare professionals’ relevant contact information. The platform will also share standardized curriculum and protocols for cancer treatments, as well as providing patient information on cancer management, which will include nutrition, managing side effects of cancer and locally available patient support resources.
 
The program also aims to establish a centre of excellence for oncology training to help enhance the quality of specialised cancer care in the region. AMPATH is bringing together a consortium of partners, including government, universities, medical centres and industry, to develop the AMPATH Oncology Institute to ensure that skills like chemotherapy administration, central line catheter insertion and care, bone marrow biopsy skills, biopsy, vaginal examination, colonoscopy, basic microscopy, Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA), breast examinations, and more are conducted in a standardized way, with the principles of each of the skills being taught prior to the clinical activities. The Institute operates within the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, a local teaching hospital. Prior to the start of any activity, our partners are required to align with Ministries of Health and governments to ensure that local policies, practices and laws are adhered to.

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