The situation of patients with cancer around the world means, in terms of access to diagnostic tools, adequate surgical interventions, medical treatments and optimal radiotherapy, as well as the educational tools for professionals, presents a great disparity in terms of access throughout the globe, but especially in sub-Saharan countries. Once again, putting into evidence this situation is necessary in order to raise awareness among the participants involved in this situation: patient, professionals, Scientific Societies, but especially governments and international organizations. Health services, sanitary equipment and medical access in developing countries are unequable: from rural areas to cities, the ratios of population, patients and professionals are far from the recommendations of the WHO. The aim of this project is to determinate the dimension of educational and non-educational needs, such as: diagnostic methods and treatments, based on the difficulties presented while having access to the different resources.
A qualitative approach was performed as first step. Objectives are to determinate needs about diagnosis equipment, treatments, and level of expertise within the personnel: including physicians, nurses, physiotherapist, technicians, and community health workers (this is a common figure in these countries). Quantitative analyses will start taking place during summer campaigns by African and European health professionals.
Access to medicines is expensive, even for the most basic treatments; when a patient begins a chemotherapy treatment, usually completes the first or second cycles of treatment. Only people who have access (economically) to a regular health system can afford a complete line of chemotherapy. About cancer diagnosis, in many countries there are basic X-ray services, including CT scan, but no PET or RMI.
If we think in oncology services, there is a big gap from developed societies in terms of education resources. If we think in patients with cancer in some countries in Africa, we can sadly affirm that most of them are patients in palliative care, and instead of receiving the most qualified and supportive care, their options about pain control or other treatments are very few.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Julio Cesar de la Torre Montero.
Comillas Pontifical University; San Juan de Dios School of Nursing and Physical Therapy. SEEO Sociedad Española de Enfermería Oncológica. ONGD Asociación AMAP.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.