Integrated Cancer Curriculum
The Integrated Cancer Management Training program was established by Takeda along with local and regional partners to improve early diagnosis, quality and impact of cancer care for patients in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
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- Improve early diagnosis, quality and impact of cancer care for patients in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Health needs and challenges
Diagnosis in Africa can often take much longer than in countries with developed healthcare systems due to several factors, including the lack of trained professionals, the distance to clinics from patients’ homes, and public understanding of treatment options as well as the importance of regular check-ups.
An assessment by Takeda, together with Amref Health Africa and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of Kenya, identified gaps and opportunities in cancer care training in Kenya that were in urgent need of addressing. Improving the speed of diagnosis was identified as one of many critical factors in the fight against cancer in SSA – the third largest cause of death in Kenya (Kenya National Cancer Treatment Protocols, National Cancer Control Program, Division of Non-Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health. 2019).
How the activity and partnerships are addressing the needs and challenges
The programs curriculum, which has been owned and endorsed by the Ministry of Health, has been specifically designed to address early diagnosis, quality and impact of cancer care and build capacity for patient support in Kenya. Together with our partners, including the National Cancer Care Program (MOH Kenya); 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.
This program forms part of the broader Blueprint for Innovative Healthcare Access program that is being piloted in Meru county. However, the individual aforementioned program does continue to be implemented in several other Kenyan counties.
Results and milestones
The success and 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.
The following initiatives are now included as part of this broader, MOH-owned initiative:
- Cancer education for primary healthcare professionals in Kenya
- Oncology Nursing in Kenya
- Patient Support and Palliative in Kenya
- Non-communicable Diseases
- Rural populations
SGDs the partnership contributes to
- 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage
- 3.C: Health workforce
Kenyatta National Hospital