Dr. Abimbola (Abi) Fapohunda is working with the Lakeshore Cancer Center in Lagos, Nigeria in a partnership to assess and improve cancer screening for patients. The goal of the project is to enhance breast and cervical cancer awareness, competency, and effective delivery of cancer care (screening, diagnoses, and referral) among Nigerian healthcare practitioners. The types of healthcare practitioners involved include doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists and technicians, radiographers, pharmacists, midwives, and Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS).
An eLearning training platform called "Learn with Lakeshore“ has been successfully developed and was launched in July 2023. The inaugural course, "Back to Basics: Cancer Screening and Referral" is ongoing, and training will continue until December 2024. The eLearning initiative for cancer awareness and competency among healthcare practitioners in Nigeria is designed as an online training platform and intended to reach individuals nationwide.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. According to the World Bank in 2021, the population of Nigeria is over 213 million, approximately 20% of Africa's population. It also has one of the highest incidence rates of breast and cervical cancers in South of the Sahara Africa (also known as Sub-Saharan Africa) in 2020. The Global Cancer Observatory reported that these two cancers combined accounted for over one third of all new cancers across sexes. It is estimated that by 2030, there will be 26 million new cancer cases and 17 million cancer deaths per year. With the rising rates of cancer, it is crucial that the public health community identifies ways to effectively increase cancer awareness, prevention, and early diagnosis of the most common female cancers in Nigeria. Many health practitioners received training with an inadequate preventive health approach through all phases of training, whether in medical or nursing schools. eLearning tools can play an important role in scaling up necessary skills for healthcare professionals to increase screenings and referrals, and to enhance their knowledge of cancer control in Nigeria.
About Dr. Abimbola Fapohunda
Dr. Fapohunda is a trained epidemiologist and health educator with over seventeen years’ experience of running her consulting company and working in public health, conducting needs assessments and program evaluation on the effectiveness of numerous community-based initiatives related to health disparities in both behavioral and physical health, including nutrition, smoking cessation, HIV/AIDS and oral health. She began this project before the start of the pandemic and has continued to work remotely to develop systemic cancer screening and eLearning tools for practitioners.
Dr. Fapohunda also began the Global TEACH Project, a student-led initiative to solve cancer healthcare disparities in rural Appalachia and Nigeria!