East African Healthcare Community Improves Cancer Care By Learning Online With The Experts

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Medical Learning Hub is advancing cancer education in a bold way across East Africa. More than 8,000 doctors, clinical officers, pharmacists and other healthcare providers updated their knowledge in prostate and breast cancer in the Medical Learning Hub Oncology Education & Engagement program from April through December 2022. Breast and prostate cancer are among the most common and deadly cancers in sub-Saharan Africa, making it especially vital that healthcare providers know how to detect them early and treat them using the most effective therapies.
 
In Kenya, Medical Learning Hub (MLH) partnered with We Change Health for All (WECHA) and seven leading Kenyan cancer institutions to develop and teach 12 courses in the MLH online classroom. Expert faculty delivered lectures and Q&A sessions, each event drawing hundreds of live attendees. The recorded classes were then uploaded and hosted on MLH, where a total of 13,584 clinicians have registered to be able to continue accessing them as well as earn CPD (continuing professional development) credits.
 
Along with surgery, radiation, chemotherapies and newer immunotherapy options, the series has stressed early detection as well as supportive aspects of care, such as pain management.
 
“Our approach is to update knowledge and increase skills of the oncology specialists, definitely, but also to train the non-specialists. They are the ones who see patients first. We’re training them, too, so that they play an active role in suspecting and detecting these cancers early and know when to refer their patient to more sophisticated care,” said Dr Benson Chuma, who leads the program.   
 
The oncology education program has earned high marks from participating clinicians, with 99% reporting that courses improved their knowledge and agreeing that the faculty were experts who presented their subjects successfully. Virginia, a nurse in charge in a leading private outpatient medical centre in Ongata Rongai, when interviewed, said, “I’m a much better practitioner, having undertaken these courses,” explaining that Medical Learning Hub courses had improved her ability to evaluate her patients.  
 
The Medical Learning Hub program has been supported by a generous grant from Corporate Giving at Bristol Myers Squibb. 

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