ecancermedicalscience

Clinical Study

Mobilising stakeholders to improve access to state-of-the-art radiotherapy in low- and middle-income countries

10 May 2021
Ndimofor Chofor, Pierre Bopda, Rebecca Bücker, Azeh Ivo, Ernest Okonkwo, Kra Joel, Zanzem Tung, Taofeeq Ige, Holger Wirtz, Wilfred Ngwa

In an ongoing effort to improve access to state-of-the-art radiotherapy in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), a joint symposium was organised by the non-governmental, non-profit organisation Medical physicists in diaspora for Africa e.V. (MephidA e.V.) in collaboration with the Germany-based Cameroon-German medical doctor’s association (Camfomedics e.V.) and the Harvard-based Global Health Catalyst summit. The goal of the symposium was to discuss the technical and structural challenges faced in African LMIC settings, re-evaluate strategies to overcome the shortfall of radiotherapy services and ameliorate the situation. The meeting brought together industry partners, including radiotherapy machine vendors and dosimetry solution providers, alongside public health, oncology and medical physics experts. This paper summarises the deliberations and recommendations based on the ongoing efforts including the use of information and communication technologies towards the provision of expert knowledge and telemedicine, the use of solar energy to avoid power outages and the use of high-end technology for enhanced quality assurance. We also present the experiences on the first linac installation at the Rwanda Military Hospital, the challenges faced in this LMIC as well as the patient’s demography, reflecting the reality in most sub-Saharan LMICs.

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