First Surgical Oncology Summerschool in Malawi, 2022

Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa is rapidly increasing, causing more than 1 million new cases and 500,000 cancer-related deaths annually. Surgery is often the primary approach, but residents lack sufficient training in surgical oncology. Additional education should be implemented in their curriculum.
Published in Social Sciences, Cancer, and Education
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Empowering Tomorrow’s Cancer Specialists: Evaluating the Co-creation and Impact of Malawi’s First Surgical Oncology Summerschool - Journal of Cancer Education

Annually more than 1 million newly diagnosed cancer cases and 500,000 cancer-related deaths occur in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). By 2030, the cancer burden in Africa is expected to double accompanied by low survival rates. Surgery remains the primary treatment for solid tumours especially where other treatment modalities are lacking. However, in SSA, surgical residents lack sufficient training in cancer treatment. In 2022, Malawian and Dutch specialists co-designed a training course focusing on oncologic diseases and potential treatment options tailored to the Malawian context. The aim of this study was to describe the co-creation process of a surgical oncology education activity in a low resource setting, at the same time attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of this training program. The course design was guided and evaluated conform Kirkpatrick’s requirements for an effective training program. Pre-and post-course questionnaires were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness. Thirty-five surgical and gynaecological residents from Malawi participated in the course. Eighty-six percent of respondents (n = 24/28) were highly satisfied at the end of the course. After a 2-month follow-up, 84% (n = 16/19) frequently applied the newly acquired knowledge, and 74% (n = 14/19) reported to have changed their patient care. The course costs were approximately 119 EUR per attendee per day. This course generally received generally positively feedback, had high satisfaction rates, and enhanced knowledge and confidence in the surgical treatment of cancer. Its effectiveness should be further evaluated using the same co-creation model in different settings. Integrating oncology into the regular curriculum of surgical residents is recommended.

A 5-day pilot course covering the spectrum of surgical oncologic disease and treatment options for the most relevant cancer types was developed for the Malawian context and conducted in August 2022. Participants were surgical and gynaecological residents from the country's training program (COSECSA). Lecturers consisted of teams of combined medical specialists from high and low-resource settings preparing their topics together. The impact of the training was measured using the Kirkpatricks evaluation tool.

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Cervical Cancer
Life Sciences > Biological Sciences > Cancer Biology > Cancers > Gynaecological Cancer > Cervical Cancer
Oncology
Life Sciences > Health Sciences > Clinical Medicine > Oncology
Surgical Oncology
Life Sciences > Biological Sciences > Cancer Biology > Cancer Therapy > Surgical Oncology
Medical Education
Humanities and Social Sciences > Education > Professional and Vocational Education > Medical Education
Paediatric Cancer
Life Sciences > Biological Sciences > Cancer Biology > Cancers > Paediatric Cancer
Global Health
Humanities and Social Sciences > Society > Sociology > Health, Medicine and Society > Global Health