Improving the speed of diagnosis was identified as one such critical factor in the fight against cancer in sub-Saharan Africa – the third largest cause of death in Kenya. Diagnosis in Africa can often take much longer than in more developed parts of the world due to several factors, including the lack of trained professionals, the distance to clinics from patient’s homes, and public understanding of treatment options as well as the importance of regular check-ups.
The curriculum has been specifically designed to address these needs and build capacity for patient support in Kenya. Together with our partners, including the National Cancer Care Program; Kenyatta National Hospital; Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital; Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA); the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK); the ELEWA Foundation; Amref Health Africa; Kenyan Network of Cancer Organizations (KENCO); and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Takeda has developed innovative training courses and delivery methods that combine in-person training with mobile and online learning to ensure that Primary Healthcare Practitioners (PHPs) and Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs) are able to receive the training, mentorship and knowledge sharing they so desperately need.
The initiative includes advanced training and content delivered through a combination of in-person interactions and e-learning modules for PHPs. For CHWs, the program also adopts a dual level training approach, utilizing face-to-face training, whilst integrating a mobile learning functionality that is delivered through SMS and voice messaging. Healthcare workers are certified following their participation in the training, which grants recognition and legitimacy with institutions across Kenya.
Once trained, Trainers of Trainers (TOTs) will be identified and become a resource to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Ministry of Health of Kenya to support the ongoing cancer management training of other PHPs. The TOTS will also double up as mentors to those PHPs who have been trained. Through the NCI and Elewa foundation, there will be a mentorship program for TOTs, where oncology experts will deliver face-to-face training on the technical components of diagnosis. The curriculum will further be adopted and integrated as part of the pre-service academic curriculum used to train undergraduate and graduate medical students.
The sustainability of the program depends on the continued commitment of our partners, which is why we are working closely with local hospitals, organizations and government agencies and have made sure that ownership of the Integrated Cancer Care Curriculum sits with the National Cancer Institute under the National Ministry of Health of Kenya. These programs will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to assess their impact.
This program aims to reach 10,000 healthcare workers by 2019.
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