Pathologic diagnosis is an essential tool in screening and disease prevention programs that contribute to the overall health of communities. Since our organization's programming already aligns with COVID-19 relief/recovery efforts, we're doubling down on this work. We're doing this by advocating for increased funding in diagnostics & laboratories as well as education & training in Africa. We're grateful to be in a situation that allows us to continue serving our community during this crisis.
Many Africans have little or no access to pathology services. In cancer, varying standards of training and scarcity of a skilled workforce have resulted in ineffective treatment due to delayed or inaccurate diagnoses. This has also led to erroneous estimates of disease rates. This results in diminished ability of health care systems to plan resource allocation, which in turn results in poorer clinical outcomes.
Pathology plays a critical role in guiding clinical decisions about patient diagnosis and treatment. By developing and disseminating a training program that covers best current practice for processing, diagnosing and reporting common cancers, this project will improve the ability of the anatomic pathology workforce in SSA to detect and diagnose cancer.
Our organization has conducted research exploring the effectiveness of various training models. The research has proven that this training program often leads to overall improvements within pathology departments, not just in cancer diagnosis. Thus, the project will contribute to general improvement of anatomical pathology laboratories in the participating institutions. This higher performing local pathology workforce will, in addition, be able to assess and train other pathologists in SSA.