The Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence (BCCOE) in Rwanda is a public-sector facility located in a rural northern province that provides cancer care in partnership with international non-governmental organizations and academic cancer institutes. In this model, clinical care is shifted to general physicians, pediatricians and internists who receive mentorship from oncology specialists through scheduled conference calls, onsite visits and email communication. Patients with pediatric cancer are treated using nationally approved protocols. Wilms Tumor, lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are the most common diagnoses. Training, supplies (including chemotherapy), and other resources are supported by the Rwandan Ministry of Health, as well as foundation grants and individual donations. Quality improvement initiatives are in place and research is conducted under the supervision of a National IRB. We have created a 1-2 day training program covering the basics of pediatric oncologic care for Rwandan physicians and nurses that has been delivered country wide.
In addition to nursing presentations provided at the 1stMultidisciplinary Rwanda National Oncology Conference, a nursing fellowship model involving nurses from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children's Hospital, and Brigham and Women's Hospital was instituted in 2012. To date, Boston nurses have rotated every three months to mentor Rwandan nurses in chemotherapy administration, managing side effects, pain management and palliative care as well as participate in program development.
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