I come from the Portuguese Institute of Oncology in Portugal but I am also involved in PALOP countries. PALOP countries are Portuguese speaking countries in Africa and we are together to bring care for cancer patients.
So can you tell us more about what you do?
Yes, we have differences but we the same history because the ancient colony is Portuguese and we have the same language, the same attitude in front of the cancer patients and we have similar institutions, however various. As you can see, one big barrier is language. You cannot get grants with the same possibility like the UK or rich people, you have difficulty to achieve guidelines and so on. For this reason we decided to walk together in order to change, to share experience, knowledge and education and share also the success and the insuccess of our treatments, our programmes, our national cancer plan. For this reason we developed the PALOP cancer organisation included in the AORTIC organisation.
Can you give me examples of what the organisation has achieved?
For example, every two years we organise a meeting in different countries, Portuguese speaking African countries. For example, the first one was in Rwanda four years ago, the second one was Mozambique two years ago and the next, next year, is in Cape Verde. During these meetings we discuss some strategies, education, how we can manage the programmes similarly in order to bring education, funds, knowledge for everybody in our countries. We also publish together and we write books together. For example, we write for all countries a book related to breast cancer.
Such as guidelines and advice?
Yes, guidelines, programmes of education, for example the partnerships and so on.
Anything else important to add?
We have in this AORTIC meeting a PALOP section. We discussed in this meeting our future. We plan to organise a PALOP School of Oncology in order to develop with very safe education, knowledge, guidelines and treat the patients with a good attitude, good protocols.