ChemoSafe Program Aims to Strengthen Access to Cancer Treatment in Sub Saharan Africa

ChemoSafe Program Aims to Strengthen Access to Cancer Treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa’s cancer burden is significant and growing. As a result, ONS has partnered with the American Cancer Society to launch the ChemoSafe program in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda.

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The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has partnered with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to launch the ChemoSafe program in the Sub-Saharan African countries of Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. 
 
Sub-Saharan Africa’s cancer burden is significant and growing. Access to chemotherapy is limited by many challenges, including a poorly functioning market, lack of diagnostic and pathology services, and a small oncology workforce. Nurses often struggle to get adequate training in cancer care and safe chemotherapy handling, administration and disposal. According to the ACS, “The ChemoSafe program brings together resources and expertise of a diverse selection of organizations to help countries ensure that the provision of chemotherapy is safe for the healthcare provider, safe for the patient, and widely accessible.” This complements the work ACS is doing with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to improve access to affordable, quality-approved oncology medicines in the region. 
 
ONS and ACS are collaborating to create the ChemoSafe nurse training program and establish a culture of safe handling and administration of chemotherapy by nurses in Sub-Saharan Africa. ONS, among other healthcare organizations, has developed and published guidelines for the safe handling of chemotherapy, including training recommendations, checklists, administration safe practices, and recommendations for personal protective equipment and disposal of chemotherapy. Together with experts in the implementing countries, ONS and ACS are adapting ONS courses to be culturally and technically appropriate for cancer treatment facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. 
 
As the burden of cancer grows around the world, more health workers, especially nurses, will be engaged in delivering safe, high quality cancer care. “ONS is proud to contribute to the important goal of improving cancer care around the world and developing oncology nurses where they are needed, such as countries in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, PhD, APRN-BC, AOCNP®, FAAN, ONS Chief Clinical Officer. 
 
About ONS: ONS is a professional association of more than 39,000 members committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care, all in an effort to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer and their families. Learn more at www.ons.org.
 
About ACS:  The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of nearly 2 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to www.cancer.org.
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Media Contact: Aaron Borchert
Aborchert@ONS.org

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