Emerging Models for Global Health in Radiation Oncology

May 14, 2016 OkonMedPhys  | Tags: mephida, NGO, Africa, cancer, Radiation Oncology African Professionals, radiation therapy in Africa

Emerging Models for Global Health in Radiation Oncology

1.3.3. Institutional or non-profit organization level

While professional societies are increasing global radiation oncology efforts, it is beyond the scope of a professional society to manage or maintain individual physician-to-physician and institution-to-institution relationships, which are critical to cultivating global radiation oncology that is tailored to the specific needs of the local treatment teams, institutions and environments. As Mayr et al noted, personalized relationships, which bolster long-term one-on-one exchanges, are just as important and can overcome economic, linguistic, or, in some regions, IT connectivity barriers [8]. Institutional level efforts are, therefore, also beginning to grow in quantity and quality, e.g. in twinning partnerships between developed country and LMIC institutions. Examples include the University of Sydney (Australia) and Myanmar partnership, where the Australian partner has helped bring about a major improvement in radiation oncology health services in Myanmar, significantly reducing the waiting time for people seeking treatment for cancer [26]. The BOTSwana Oncology Global Outreach program (BOTSOGO) [27] between Botswana and MGH/Harvard is another example, which will be further discussed along with others in subsequent chapters.

Meanwhile, a number of non-profit organizations with global radiation oncology mission statements are also emerging. One example is Medical Physicists without Borders [23], whose mission is to support activities that will yield effective and safe use of physics and technologies in medicine through advising, training, demonstrating and/or participating in medical physics-related activities, especially in LMIC. In Europe, the Mephida (Medical Physicists in Diaspora (Europe) for Cancer Care in Africa) Medical Foundation is another emerging independent non-profit organization with a novel approach to advancing and improving cancer care in Africa through medical physics [28]. A further example of a non-profit organization is Radiating Hope, where Fisher et al have been leading global radiation oncology work in a number of African countries [29]. Some of their commendable work in Senegal has been performed in partnership with Arno J Mundt [10, 29], at the University of California, San Diego. Another emerging salient non-profit organization is the International Cancer Expert Corps (ICEC), with a mission to reduce mortality and improve the quality of life for people with cancer in LMIC and other regions worldwide. The ICEC addresses this mission through a mentoring network of cancer professionals who work with local and regional in-country groups to develop and sustain expertise for better cancer care [30].

Source: http://iopscience.iop.org/chapter/978-0-7503-1224-0/bk978-0-7503-1224-0ch1