The first oncology training programme, targeting 14 medics, is scheduled to commence in February 2012.
The programme is organised by Partners in Health (PIH), an international organisation committed to improve the health of the poor and marginalised people by working closely with them to deliver high quality medical care.
The programme will take place at Rwinkwavu Hospital Training Centre, one of the few hospitals in the country offering chemotherapy treatment.
It will be conducted by experts from the United States-based Harvard Medical School and Dana Farber Cancer Institute who will provide mentorship and medical knowledge on cancer care and treatment to Rwandan doctors and nurses.
The Partners in Health (PIH) Non-Communicable Disease Programme Coordinator, Neo Tapela noted that the training would enhance quality medical care for cancer patients in the country.
“The 14 medics will be able to provide proper nursing care and treatment for cancer patients. They will be trained by experts and the knowledge they get will help them to handle cancer patients better,” Tapela said.
She, however, lamented that training medics to become specialised oncologists takes 15 years and is expensive.
Tapela nonetheless hastened to add that the PIH cancer medical team communicates with Oncologists from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, an affiliate of Harvard University, on a weekly basis.
“We keep in touch with the oncologists once every week to discuss the health situation of our cancer patients and get advice from them on the kind of treatment we should use for particular patients,” she disclosed.
Tapela noted that this regular communication had facilitated them to offer exceptional care and treatment to cancer patients.
PIH works in Rwinkwavu, Kirehe, Butaro district hospitals and 37 health centres.