Retinoblastoma in Francophone Africa (2013)

Program: Pediatric Oncology
Coordinators: Pierre Bey
Other INCTR Participants:
Collaborators: GFAOP (Groupe Francais African pour Oncololgie Pediatric
Branch(es): AMCC
Location: Single Continent
Country(s): Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Senegal
Institutions: Institut Curie Hospital, Paris, France
University Hospital of Lubumbashi, DRC
Background Information:
Objectives: To provide training and education to institutions and countries in Francophone Africa with respect to the early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of children with retinoblastoma in Francophone Africa
Progress: 1. Training of an ophthalmology Nurse.

Mme Albertine Mutombo, an ophalmology nurse from Mali spent two weeks in April at the facilities of “Cabinet Prothelem” in Paris where she learned about the fabrication and fitting of prosthetic eyes in children. AMCC would like to thank both Cabinet Prothelem, for welcoming Mme Mutombo and the Lubumbashi office of the Cultural Cooperation Program of the French Embassy, which provided the air ticket for Mme Mutombo.

2. Visit of Professor Chenge to the Institut Curie Hospital in Paris, April 2013).

From the 7th to 16th April, Professor Gabrielle Chenge, ophthalmologist and director of the University Hospitals of Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of the Congo) visited the ophthalmology service of Dr Laurence Desjardins at the Hospital Institute Curie in Paris in the context of the program developed by the AMCC designed to assist countries with limited resources to diagnose retinoblastoma as early as possible. Professor Chenge attended ward rounds and outpatient clinics and also took the opportunity to discuss the challenges existing in Lubumbashi that needed to be overcome to ensure the success of the project.

3. Expansion of AMCC’s retinoblastoma program to the Ivory Coast and Senegal.

4. From October 27th through November 3rd, 2013, Professor Pierre Bey, Medical Director of AMCC and colleagues from France and Mali involved in the care of children with retinoblastoma visited Abidjan and Dakar. The purpose of their visit was to launch the retinoblastoma program for the early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of children with this cancer in these two countries. These are the third and fourth reference centers established in sub-Saharan Africa (Bamako and Lubumbashi) were the first and the second) in a collaboration between AMCC and the local unit of the French-African Pediatric Oncology Group (GFAOP). Discussions were held with the Head of the Ophthalmology unit of the Pediatric Oncology Department and the Head of the Anatomic Pathology services of DRC. The mission also provided an opportunity for the team to visit Bamako and assess progress made in the on-going program that, despite the political unrest, continues to provide treatment for children with retinoblastoma; in the first 20 months of the program, 57 children received treatment).

4. AMCC participated in a panel discussion on the management of childhood cancer in Africa at the World Cancer Leader’s Summit organized by Sanofi Espoir Foundation. Prof Bey presented the retinoblastoma programme.

5. The program was presented to the French media at a press conference organized by the Sanofi-Espoir Foundation on February 15, 2014 and was mentioned on Radio France International on Oct 2nd 2013 and Feb 4th 2014 as well as at the World Cancer Leader’s Summit in South Africa on November 19, 2013.
Future Plans:
Duration: Indefinite
Month: 02
Year: 2014
Last Update: 02/2014

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