The Kenya cancer research and control stakeholder program: Evaluating a bilateral partnership to strengthen national cancer efforts
Buchanan, N Lunsford
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Background In response to a growing cancer burden and need for improved coordination among stakeholders in Kenya, the US National Cancer Institute and the Kenya Ministry of Health collaboratively hosted a stakeholder meeting in 2014 which identified four priority areas of need (research capacity building, pathology and cancer registries, cancer awareness and education, and health system strengthening) and developed corresponding action plans. Methods Surveys were conducted with participants to collect input on the progress and impact of the 2014 stakeholder meeting. Findings Of 69 eligible participants, 45 responded from academia, healthcare institutions, civil society, government, and international agencies. Of the four technical focus areas, three have continued to conduct working group meetings and two have conducted in-person meetings to review and update their respective action plans. Accomplishments linked to or enhanced by the meeting include: Kenyan and international support for expansion of population-based cancer registries, increased availability of prioritized diagnostic tests in selected regional referral hospitals, a greater focus on development of a national cancer research agenda, strategic planning for a community education strategy for cancer awareness, and improved coordination of partners through in-country technical assistance. Interpretation The Stakeholder Program has successfully united individuals and organizations to improve cancer control planning in Kenya, and has enhanced existing efforts and programs across the country. This model of partners working in parallel on prioritized track activities has supported development of long term coordination of cancer research and control activities sustainable by the Kenyan government and Kenyan institutions.
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