Is there value to sub-specialty training in sub-Saharan Africa?

  • E O Orang’o Moi University
  • S E Sinasac University of Toronto
  • P Itsura Moi University
  • P Tonui Moi University
  • B Rosen William Beaumont Hospital
  • A Covens University of Toronto

Abstract

Over the past three decades, Africa has focused on combatting infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. As treatment strategies for infectious diseases have improved over time, life expectancy has increased, shifting the burden to chronic diseases, such as cancer. The WHO has now identified non-communicable diseases, including cancer, as the new epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa1. Cancer incidence and mortality are increasing rapidly in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) as compared to high-income countries. By 2020, it is predicted that 70% of all new cancers worldwide will occur in LMIC2. In 2012 850 000 new cancers were diagnosed in Africa, and over one million new cancers are predicted on the continent by 20202–4. Developing effective strategies to prevent, detect and treat this growing number of cancer cases poses a great challenge. There is an ongoing lack of resources, and little awareness of the need among policymakers and the general public. In addition, there is a severe shortage of health care personnel in sub-Sharan Africa5–7. With limited resources and a growing need to treat complex malignancies, is it feasible for LMIC to train subspecialists in oncology?

Author Biographies

E O Orang’o, Moi University

Moi University School of Medicine, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya

S E Sinasac, University of Toronto

University of Toronto, Trillium Health Partners, Toronto, Canada

P Itsura, Moi University

Moi University School of Medicine, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya

P Tonui, Moi University

Moi University School of Medicine, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya

B Rosen, William Beaumont Hospital

William Beaumont Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA

A Covens, University of Toronto

University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada

Published
2019-03-25
Section
Opinion