Anatomic Pathology, Cytology and iPath in Francophone Africa

Program: Pathology
Coordinators: Martine Raphael
Other INCTR Participants: Lorenzo Leoncini
Collaborators: INCa
University of Sienna, Italy
Branch(es): AMCC
Location: Single Continent
Country(s): Cameroon, Mali, DRC, Senegal
Institutions: CHU Lumubashi (RDC)
CHU Kinshasa (RDC)
Vanga Hospital (RDC)
Pasteur Institute of Yaounde (Cameroon)
Dakar (Senegal)
Background Information: A major problem that must be surmounted in Africa is the achievement of a high quality diagnosis. Few pathologists are specialized in the diagnosis of cancer. Thus, there is a strong need to train more anatomical or surgical pathologists. Because most of the cases they see will not be cancer, many cases (in the form of slides or blocks) are sent to other countries for diagnosis. The intent, however, should not be simply the establishment of the diagnosis, but also training. For this reason, it is worth establishing a system whereby images (cytology or histopathology) can be sent electronically to a central reference site where the images are displayed and the diagnosis made either together with the external expert, or by simply reading the report left on each case. The problem with the latter approach is that an opportunity can be used to discuss cases with experienced pathologists located in other countries. From the point of view of making the diagnosis but no progress in developing independence, the former system is effective. If training is to be included in the objectives of the project, tutelage should be given at the time the diagnosis is made.
Objectives: The iPath Program assists pathology colleagues in Africa to make accurate diagnoses and provides them with training in order to build local capacity in hematopathology.
Methods: The program is relevant to the development of sustainable capacity in both cancer diagnosis and research through these four processes:
1.Development of infrastructure for pathology that meets the needs and is sustainable within the context of pathology labs in Africa.
2.Design and building of research projects constructed as collaborative studies between lower resource and high resource countries.
3.Organization of workshops, tutorials and meetings that provide opportunities to present data from clinical research studies as well as data from fundamental and basic research studies.
4.Development of best practices in research through “learning by doing” and by participating in collaborative projects.
Progress: Currently more than 114 cases sent to the French-speaking African group. For these cases, diagnostic opinion of at least three experts in hematopathology were obtained.
Future Plans: Expansion of the iPath program in Benin
Year: 2013
Last Update: 25 April 2013

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