Twenty five Kenyan physicians have today commenced a 3-day residential Oncology clinical training course in Machakos as part of the East African Development Bank (EADB) Medical and Training Fellowship that seeks to step up the fight against non-communicable diseases and in particular, cancer.
Managed by the British Council in partnership with the London Royal College of Physicians, the 3 day training will take the physicians through the essentials for early diagnosis of cancer, aspects of prevention, principles of treatment and the key aspects of holistic management.
The World Health Organization estimates that 8.2 million people die annually from cancer, an estimated 13% of all deaths worldwide. Despite an estimated 456 000 deaths caused by cancer in sub-Saharan Africa in 2012 and a cancer burden that is predicted to double by 2030, the region accounts for only 0·3% of worldwide medical expenditure for cancer.
The Medical and Training Fellowship programme is part of EADB’s long-term plan to equip doctors in district hospitals across Kenya and East Africa with the skills to effectively and promptly diagnose cancer and neurological disorders and facilitate early interventions either at the point of contact or by referral for advanced medical care.
The 3 day training will be delivered by a mixed faculty from the United Kingdom and East Africa led by Professor Walter Mwanda, professor of haematology, University of Nairobi and Dr. Ruth Board, Medical Oncologist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and the lead for acute oncology and will cover acute cancer presentation triage and management of urgent cancer symptoms.
According to the EADB director general Vivienne Yeda, the training will boost the medical fraternity’s capacity in Kenya and the region by availing qualified professionals who will tackle various cancers.
“We hope that the programme will lead to better health for the people of East Africa and ease the growing burden that non-communicable diseases put on the economies of East Africa”, she added.
So far, over 70 physicians have participated in the Oncology and Neurology Training and Fellowship programme across East Africa this year with another 150 scheduled to undergo the training before the end of the year. EADB plans to train 600 physicians in 4 years leading to a rich exchange of skills, expertise and experience between the people of the UK and East Africa.