The IGCS “train the trainers” course on colposcopy, LEEP, and concepts in cervical cancer prevention for African countries was hosted in Mozambique.
This special training course was held during the XXV International Course on Colposcopy and LEEP July 25- 26, 2023, at Maputo Central Hospital, as part of a partnership between the Ministry of Health of Mozambique (National Cancer Control Programme), MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS).
Maputo Central Hospital, recognized as an International Training Center in this area hosted 11 gynecologic oncologists and trainees from Kenya, Malawi, Liberia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Uganda. 40 doctors and nurses from Maputo Province, Maputo City also attended this course. These physicians gathered to receive special instruction on how to effectively serve as mentors and trainers in their home countries. The training team included physicians from MD Anderson and local Mozambican specialists.
“They are here to learn and become the trainers in their country”, said Dr. Kathleen Schmeler, Professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Executive Director of Global Oncology at MD Anderson, during the opening ceremony.
“With this training, we hope that these doctors will improve their knowledge and skills in diagnosing and treating women with cervical pre-cancer and that they will continue to teach others in their countries – so that more women’s lives are saved”, said Dr. Cesaltina Lorenzoni.
During the opening ceremony the doctors were welcomed by Dr. Cesaltina Lorenzoni, the National Cancer Control Plan Director, Dr. Mouzinho Saide, Director of Maputo Central Hospital and the international partner institutions including MD Anderson Cancer Center (Christopher McKee, Senior Vice President Strategy and Business Development, Sarah Berger, Associate Vice President, Cancer Network, and Drs. Ellen Baker, Kathleen Schmeler and Mila Salcedo); and IGCS Mentorship and Training Program Manager (Ms. Susan Ralph). Other partners who participate in the training and research activities daily in Mozambique such as PEPFAR (CDC), JHPIEGO, and Instituto Nacional de Saude also were in attendance.
The first course Colposcopy and LEEP training course in Mozambique was held in 2016. The first 25 courses have hosted an average of more than 50 doctors, nurses and residents per course from all provinces in Mozambique. More than 500 individuals have participated in training activities.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women and the most common cause of death from cancer in African women. There is an urgent need for effective and widespread screening and treatment of women with pre-invasive cervical disease and for treatment of women with cervical cancer. There are innovative efforts to improve early diagnosis and treatment of all cancer patients in Mozambique, including strategies such as patient navigation for women with breast cancer, training in oncology in partnership with specialists from Brazil and the US, and collaborative research projects with international partners.
In addition to Mozambique, IGCS’s fellowship program is also being implemented in the African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.
Susan Ralph said “This training session was an important and impressive collaborative effort among the our members practicing in similar resource settings. By training the trainers, we can better ensure that all the IGCS sites are trained consistently in the management of preinvasive disease. They are using evidence-based practices customized to be the most effective methods for low-resource settings. This is what IGCS mentorship and training programs are all about — our members finding ways to adapt care to their available resources, sharing that information, and learning best practices from each other. We never imagined this type of collaboration would be possible before we started the program.”
IGCS and MD Anderson are partnering to offer more courses like this in the future, utilizing the preinvasive disease curriculum.
If you are interested in future courses, please email IGCS Mentorship and Training Program Manager, Susan Ralph at Susan.email@example.com.