About Cancer Language Training for Africa

To commemorate the 2024 World Cancer Day, Pink Africa Foundation organized the Cancer Language Training for Africa on February 7, 2024, in collaboration with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and other global partners.

Africa has one of the lowest cancer survival rates for many reasons - late presentation, lack of infrastructure and the high cost of care - top the list. Unfortunately, even for those that can afford to pay for care, there is still fear, superstition, blame and stigma.

With so much pressure already around the patient, it is important that those in the African cancer space - where the patient goes to receive care and succor - learn to speak with grace, without blame or stigma, and provide the best standard of care to each patient.

This FREE training built capacity in those working to "Close the Care Gap" in Africa, as well as provide a platform for survivors to serve as ambassadors of hope - championing the efficacy of early detection and effective treatment.

The Cancer Language Training for Africa brought together survivors, health care professionals, oncology professionals, cancer advocates, front desk officers, patient navigators and volunteers across Africa under one roof, for a communications training.

Over ten African cancer survivors shared their experience of stigma, blame disrespect and lack of communication. Medical professionals - doctors, nurses, medical physicists, radiotherapists, pharmacists - shared insights on how to "Close the Care Gap" on cancer communication in a resource-poor setting.

The faculty included Jill Feldman (Cancer Survivor & Advocate, IASLC, USA), Dr. Adamu Alhassan (President, Nigerian Cancer Society), Dr. Biniyam Tefera Deressa (UICC Young Leader/Oncologist, Ethiopia), Caleb Egwuenu (IASLC STARS Alumni, Nigeria), Dr. Samuel Otene (Chairman, NMA National Committee on Cancer), Kayla Kafka-Peterson (Oncology Nurse, UCLA, United States), Pharm. Mnema Scholastica Lan (Survivor, BCCSI), Muhammad Musa Abubakar (Rep. Association of Radiation Therapists of Nigeria), Dr. Olusegun Biyi-Olutunde (Head of Oncology, UPTH, Nigeria).

The sessions were moderated by Idah Phiri (Communications Manager, Zambian Cancer Society) and Dr. Iyobosa Uwadiae (Secretary, Nigerian Association of Medical Physicists).

Over 850 people from 31 countries registered for the Cancer Language Training for Africa (CLT4A) put together by Dr. Nchiewe Ani (President, Pink Africa Foundation) and Victor EKPO (Executive Director, Pink Africa Foundation) with support from a pink army of volunteers and collaboration with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) who awarded 5 CME/CPD points, and many global partners.

At the end of the programme, data collated shows that 22 African countries were in attendance, with 10 countries across Europe, Asia, America, the Middle East – making a total of 32 countries. The top five (5) participating countries with the highest registrants and participants include: Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Malawi.

Other countries in attendance include: Botswana, South Africa, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, D. R. Congo, Egypt, India, Saint Lucia, Australia, Benin Republic, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cabo Verde, Canada, France, French Guiana, Italy, Lesotho, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sudan, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom and United States.

With two (2) physical viewing centres and 850 other registrants on Zoom, the online training attracted over 250 organisations. The largest cadre of participants was volunteers, with 188, followed by medical physicists with 115, radiographers and therapeutic radiographers with 102, 86 medical doctors, 74 nurses, 71 chemists and 62 health workers., 32 cancer advocates, 19 oncologists, 10 front desk officers, 9 survivors, and 8 patient navigators. There was also a total of 74 registrants with non-defined roles.

WATCH: Recap of Cancer Language Training for Africa 2024

Faculty of the Cancer Language Training for Africa

Jill Feldman, Lung Cancer Survivor and Advocate
Dr. Nchiewe Ani, President, Pink Africa Foundation
Victor EKPO, Executive Director, Pink Africa Foundation
Dr. Biniyam Tefera Deressa
Idah Phiri
Dr. Olusegun Biyi-Olutunde
Dr. Iyobosa Uwadiae
Kayla Kafka-Peterson
Dr. Adamu Alhassan Umar
President, Nigerian Cancer Society
Pharm. Scholastica Mnena Lan
Dr. Samuel Otene
Caleb Egwuenu

Associated Global Goals

  1. Sustainable Development Goals 1, 3, 5 and 10
  2. United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030)
  3. World Health Organization (WHO) Global Breast Cancer Initiative (GBCI)
  4. WHO’s 90-70-90 target by Year 2030
  5. Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) “Close the Care Gap”