Strengthening Workforce Capacity in Oncology through Global Learning
Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a rapid epidemiological transition with a growing cancer burden in all regions. Health systems in most of these countries are least prepared to manage this burden, and large numbers of cancer patients do not have access to timely diagnosis and quality treatment.
With more than 250,000 cases of cancer and 23,000 deaths reported annually, Uganda has one of the largest cancer burdens in the region. The risk of cancer before the age of 75 years is 17.8% and many of the Cancer patients in Uganda are at higher risk of premature deaths due to the lack of early detection programmes and access to essential, holistic and adequate cancer treatment.
The Uganda Cancer Institute remains the largest oncology centre in the country and provides care to patients from Uganda and other countries across the region that lack oncology services.
The institute therefore faces among other challenges faces overwhelming numbers of patients that come with advanced stages of cancer, inadequate health workers to deliver oncology care, limited resources among others.
One of the most critical gaps in cancer care in the country and the region is the lack of access to radiotherapy services. As part of its strategic plan, UCI has put focus on scaling up access to radiation oncology services.
The institute has commissioned a new Cobalt-60 radiotherapy machine and is completing the construction of additional modern bunkers with six chambers which will house four linear accelerator radiotherapy machines.
To operate these radiation oncology facilities, not only are well-trained radiation oncologists needed, it is also very critical to have well-trained and highly skilled medical physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, and nurses.
These cadres of health workers are however critically lacking in the country which directly affects the operationalization and expansion of radiotherapy services in Uganda and the region.
In a bid to address this gap, The Uganda Cancer Institute seeks to implement a capacity building program with Key institutions in the UK-The SCALE Program to develop appropriate training pathways that can build the capacity of this much need human resource in Uganda.
The overall goal of the project is; to contribute to the collaborative development of critical human resource to improve radiation oncology services in Uganda
- To develop distant knowledge exchange program in radiation oncology between training institutions in Uganda and the UK.
- To enable Ugandan Doctors benefit from the Medical Training Initiative (MTI) Scheme by the academy of Royal Colleges to train in Radiation Oncology in the UK.
- To facilitate Global Placement of UK professionals from the UK to support local training in radiation oncology in Uganda.