Good clinical practice advice for the management of patients with gynaecological cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and other resource-constrained countries

17 Jul 2020
Kehinde S Okunade, Adeyemi A Okunowo, Ephraim O Ohazurike, Rose I Anorlu

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare services in settings with under-resourced health systems such as that of Nigeria is likely to be substantial in the coming months. The gynaecological oncology services still need to be prioritised as an essential core health service. There are increasing concerns from both physicians and patients regarding how to manage patients diagnosed with cancer during this pandemic as evidence suggests a substantial increase in the risk of COVID-19-related deaths amongst patients with cancer. However, we recognise that despite this great challenge, we must continue to provide the highest quality of care to the patients, whereas, at the same time, ensure adequate safety not only for the patients and their families but also for the entire oncology team. We advocate that due to the widespread travel restrictions and inability to refer patients for the highest level of care at this period, centres without radiotherapy facilities as seen in most resource-limited settings should always consider lower level care options such as the use of chemotherapy pending when there is a better access to these facilities. We, therefore, developed this good clinical practice advice to staff of the gynaecological oncology unit in the centre and other resource-constrained settings for the management of patients with gynaecological cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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