Despite a population of over 180 million and over 115,950 new cases of cancer diagnosed every year, Nigeria has no dedicated medical oncologists (MO). Most oncology care is delivered through surgical (SO) and radiation oncologists (RO) who number less than 50 in the entire country. With the limited number of oncology professionals, cancer patients experience poor outcomes, with a less than 10% of 5-year cancer survival rate.
The participants were nominated by their institutions to attend the medical oncology training. Through the support of FSP and U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, MGM and TOC delivered 10-days of lectures based on ASCO, ESMO and NCCN guidelines in Abuja, Nigeria. Participants represented 15 Nigerian states, including 5 of the 6 ethnic and geographic regions. Mean correct scores of participants that completed both the pre- and post-course 25 question tests (composed by 2 of the authors TOC and MGM) were compared using GraphPad Prism 7.0a by Paired t-tests.
Forty-four oncologists were identified of which 11 (25%) were females. Twenty-five (57%) completed both the pre- and post-tests and fully participated in the 10-day lecture series. 12 participates that completed the training were residents and 12 were attending physicians. One doctor did not identify as a resident or attending. Of the 25 that completed both tests, percentage of correct answers increased from 45% to 59% (2-sided p-value <0.0001). Benefits were seen both with attending doctors 45% to 59% (p = 0.0046) and resident doctors 45% to 59% (0.0007).
MO education coordinated by FSP and PPB improved MO knowledge in Nigeria regardless of participant background. Similar models may be employed across Sub-Saharan Africa. Reasons for lost participation need to be defined.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
United States of America Department of State.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.