Contact: Dr. Eva Kantelhardt
Duration: 01.02..2021 - 31.03.2023
Establishment of a Gynaecologic Oncology Centers at Jimma, Bahir Dar, Mekelle and Hawassa.
Female cancers (FC) are among the top 3 most common cancers in Ethiopia counting up to 10.000 per year. Access to FC care is nearly non-existent outside of Addis Ababa and Gondar University. Ethiopia has 109 million people and only 12 trained gyneco oncologists (GO’s). Barriers such as transportation fees, long distance, overcrowding and waiting times hinder the rural population to come to the capital, leading to a high mortality rate. Therefore, the MoH has drafted a National Cancer Control Plan, a Cervical Cancer Prevention Strategy and expansion of RT services to six more sites. Ethiopia is linked to the WHO initiative “Eliminate Cervical Cancer”. We hereby support the government’s aspiration to train at least 50% of required 150 GO’s in five years.
Our project will be implemented in close collaboration with MoH, ESOG (founded in 2005), the Ethiopian Society of Hemato-Oncology (founded 2019), and the International Gynaecologic Cancer Society (IGCS), who jointly started the GO fellowship program in 2016.
Additional funding between Ethiopian partners and MLU supplement the program: the Else Kröner Cancer Center will improve diagnostic services for female cancer in Addis Ababa and link to the regional cancer centers. The Hochschul- and Klinikpartnerschaft GIZ improves awareness and cervical cancer screening. PAGEL DAAD improves teaching and research of NCDs and cancer in Addis Ababa.
Around 400 gynecologists are working in Ethiopia. The government aims to add another 300 by 2025. Currently a lack of post-graduate sub-specialization (e.g. GO) exists. Together with the MoH, Ethiopian gynecologists have recently set up a continuous medical education program to assure up-to-date knowledge and skills. This project will sub-specialize gynaecologists (direct target group) to expand and improve service for women (indirect target group). We aim to include female candidates in the program.
According to IARC, Ethiopia has 29.4 million women at risk of developing cervical cancer, who eventually benefit from this project. Lower socio-economic background and HIV infection increases risk for cervical cancer.
GO’s at Jimma, Bahir Dar, Mekelle and Hawassa will provide preventive, diagnostic and surgical care for FC patients in these regions – hence, patients will be seen in earlier stage of cancer and procedures will be performed locally. This will lead to long-term reduction of late stages and reduce the burden of FC.