A collaborative approach to meeting oncology challenges in island communities in the Asia-Pacific region

Iain Gordon Ward, Alfred Mel, Andrew Soma, Ane Atalifo-Veu, Christos S. Karapetis, Desmond Yip

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Treatment of cancer in small island communities is frequently challenged by the isolation and scattered nature of target populations, limited economic resources and overburdened healthcare systems. Strategies that have been successful in improving access to nonsurgical treatment in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and West Timor include balancing centralised location of scarce resources (particularly health professionals) with minimisation of patient travel, in-country training by teams of oncology professionals from high-income countries (HICs), sending health professionals to train in HICs, sharing and adaptation of treatment protocols, and telehealth initiatives. A common feature of successful initiatives is a collaborative approach. Cancer service design and implementation needs to be led by local health professionals with the collaboration of local health authorities and government. There is greater scope for collaboration between low- and middle-income countries and for the use of virtual meetings, distance learning, and remote technical support.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
    Early online date5 Mar 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Mar 2021

    Keywords

    • chemotherapy
    • delivery of health care
    • developing countries
    • melanesia
    • radiotherapy

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