Else Kröner Cancer Center in Ethiopia

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Contact: Dr. Eva Kantelhardt

Duration: 1.2.2020 - 31.1. 2025

Funding:  Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung

Summary:

2.5 million euros: This sum was granted by the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung to support the development of the “Else Kröner Cancer Center”, based at Addis Ababa University in the capital of Ethiopia within a 5 year time frame. The responsibility for this humanitarian project lies with the Medical Faculty of the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg and Dr. Eva Kantelhardt. She is a gynecologist and epidemiologist having been involved in the African country for around ten years. In close collaboration with an interdisciplinary team led by Dr. Adamu Addissie of Addis Ababa University, Dr Kantelhardt is involved in promoting the prevention and care of malignant diseases, especially breast cancer and cervical cancer, in Ethiopia.

The cancer center based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is one of two projects that the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung selected from 78 applications. “Cervical cancer and breast cancer are the most common cancers in Ethiopia. The project shall support both patients and research activities on these diseases to provide data on access to care. Around 13,000 people are diagnosed with these diseases each year. Unlike in Germany, around two thirds of the Ethiopian patients diagnosed with cervical and breast cancer decease of the disease,”emphasizes Dr. Kantelhardt. In particular, early detection of cancer which is essential to the curability of cancer, must be improved.

Funding of the EKFS therefore primarily serves to establish an earlier diagnosis and, consequently, earlier therapy. "All of this happens in close coordination with the colleagues in Addis Ababa," Kantelhardt says. This includes the purchasing of equipment, but also the optimization of processes. The new cancer clinic will also serve as a training- and education site for the employees of the new regional oncology centers. There are plans to closely work with eight rural regional hospitals and their health centers to optimize the planned nationwide cervical cancer screening. In addition, a community-level system will be developed level to provide long-term psychosocial support for cancer patients within the existing local structures.

“We have long-standing contacts and close cooperation with our colleagues on site. Weekly Skype conferences already take place, and we will continue to do so „the doctor says. In addition, as has been the case for many years, she will fly to Addis Ababa herself three to four times a year, work on site and continue to welcome Ethiopian colleagues here in Halle almost all year round for observation or joint scientific work. "This is really an affair of the heart for me," Kantelhardt says, in the same breath, referring to the great support that she experiences of the Institutes for Pathology and Medical Epidemiology, Biometry and Computer Science - on which she works as a scientist - as well as the clinics for radiation therapy and gynecology at Halle University medicine.

"To put it quite immodestly: The funding from the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung meets the right people and we are extremely pleased that the longstanding commitment of the University Medical Center in Halle, but especially that of Eva Kantelhardt, has convinced and recognized and honored with this funding "says the dean of the medical faculty in Halle, Prof. Dr. Michael Gekle.