Dar es Salaam, Tanzania September 2023: Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania (AKHST) is implementing a novel, innovative, public-private partnership project, the Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP), in collaboration with the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI), Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) and Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH). The project is occurring under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), together with its technical consultant, Institut Curie, Paris, France’s leading cancer research and treatment center.
The four-year project started in 2020 and is being implemented in all five districts of the Dar es Salaam region and all eight districts of the Mwanza region to complement the Government’s efforts to reduce the burden and deaths due to cancer.
Every quarter, our experts from Institut Curie visit Tanzania as part of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) to discuss the progress of the project, give mentorship to the people on the ground, and provide experts in different areas of cancer to train and discuss with the local experts on the cancer care continuum (i.e. prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment [surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy] palliative care and survivorship).
On 16th August 2023, experts from Institut Curie conducted a Masterclass on The Management of Gynaecological Cancers to discuss a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating these cancers in Tanzania. More than 20 Tanzanian experts including gynaecologists, radiologists, pathologists, onco-gynaecologists, clinical oncologists, and radiation oncologists from Muhimbili University for Health & Allied Sciences (MUHAS), MNH, ORCI, BMC, AKHST and Aga Khan University (AKU) attended the masterclass. The masterclass was led by Dr Alain Fourquet (Radiation Oncologist), Professor Fabrice Lecuru (Onco-Gynaecologist), Dr Manon Kissel (Radiation Oncologist) and Dr Caroline Malhaire (Radiologist) from Institut Curie.
Experts from the Oncology Department at The Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam (AKH, D) presented two complex cancer cases (endometrial and ovarian cancers). They discussed how they are managed in a developing world situation, with some diagnostic and treatment modalities still needing to be implemented. They also received feedback from Institut Curie about how they would be managed in the developed world.
The key takeaway message from the masterclass was that there is room to drastically improve gynaecologic malignancy management in our local settings utilizing the current resources. Key areas for improvement that were noted were standardizing histopathology reports (to include tumour invasion, tumour grading, and immunohistochemistry panel), practicing surgical oncology principles (R0 resection, sentinel lymph node dissection) and having a dedicated multidisciplinary tumour board for gynaecologic malignancies.