Roundtable discussion on Radiation Oncology in Africa.

December 3, 2015 OkonMedPhys  | Tags: Medical Physicists, Diaspora, cancer care professionals, MTA, Join Us, roundtable discussion

Roundtable discussion on Radiation Oncology in Africa (Bridging Medical physics in Africa).


Haphazardly found the letter we send out 2010 to the public announcing the roundtable discussion in Freiburg/Germany and decided to make it public again. We are still making the same call today and tomorrow. Join Us!


Dear colleagues, African Medical Physicists in Diaspora,

We no longer need to be told that our continent Africa is the least developed as regards radiation oncology resources and we are also aware of the increase of cancer incidence. The big picture is not really the increase in cancer incidence but rather the death rate due to poor or no cancer health care. This could be attributed to factors such as lack of human resources (cancer care professionals), infrastructures, socioeconomic status, cultural, and political situations. This mail is an invitation especially to the African brothers and sisters who are already working or still in training as Medical physicists, radiation oncologists or MTAs to a meeting in Freiburg during the DGMP congress (Friday 1st of October 2010, Room number 1132 at 16:00).  

 

Some International organizations and leading cancer care companies have realized the overwhelming necessity for cancer health care in the continent and are already tackling the obstacles militating against basic cancer health care in the continent. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has taken the role of establishing clinical training programmes. Varian Medical System and Elekta are already producing affordable treatment units for developing countries. The German Medical Physics Association (DGMP) has been inviting Medical Physicist from Africa to Germany to create more awareness of the situation of radiation oncology in their various countries (The president for this year’s DGMP congress in Freiburg, Dr. Norbert Hodapp has invited Dr. Taofeeq Abdallah Ige, a Medical physcist at Abuja national hospital Nigeria). The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) has shown some interest to partner with the Nigerian Association of Medical Physicist (NAMP).  Prof. Dr. Fridtjof Nüsslin, the president of the International organization of Medical Physics (IOMP) declared Africa and Latin America last year when he came into office, as the focus regions for IOMP during his term. It is through him, that I gathered that IOMP and WHO have sign a treaty to cooperate more effectively to foster education and training programs. Additionally, the Federation of African Medical Physics Organizations (FAMPO) is currently in the making, through IOMP.

 

To establish closer links between radiation oncology professionals at home and in the diasporas, to encourage, to advance, to help, to uphold, to promote, to sustain, and support the mission, objectives and activities of the above mentioned organs in our continent Africa, we want to form a registered nonprofit group here in Germany, whose members involve people like you and me (Medical physicists, radiation oncologists, MTA’s) who are maybe doing their PhD, working in order to gather experience, or in clinical training programs abroad. Our first meeting as mentioned above would take place in Freiburg during the DGMP congress, which would be chaired by the secretary general of FAMPO Dr. Ige. With his present, we would get a rich feedback on the situation on ground and how we can structure, and coordinate our group’s activities to meet the badly needed support. We also want to use this opportunity to invite our experience German Medical physicists, who might be interested to help uplift the situation of Medical Physics in the continent Africa in one way or the other to join us in our first meeting. With the success of this coming meeting, it is hope that our subsequent meetings would be quickly integrated in congresses organized by IAEA/IOMP/DGMP etc.

 

Some of us have expressed and have that burning desire and motivation to help out in one way or the other to improve and strengthen cancer health care in Africa. Some have stated their ambition to contribute their help from abroad, others by periodic visits to clinics, training facilities as mentors or through exchange programs etc. This meeting would be that opportunity to help us come together as a group to review and structure our ideas and burning desires in the development and advancement of cancer health care in the region. We can no longer sit with folded arms and wait for our governments, international organizations to do it all for us. We are the continent’s future and it is our place to figure out how to give back in one way or the other and to get involved for a better tomorrow for those in need.

 

Please find attach membership forms and tentative meeting agenda. New agenda points are welcome. Please fill-in the form and send to nwabueze@hotmail.com. Feel free to forward this mail to anyone interested. We want to use this opportunity to thank Dr. Norbert H., the president of this year DGMP congress for providing us with a room, where we can hold our first meeting.

Best regards

Ernest Okonkwo