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This paper summarizes the 2020 Diversity in Radiology and Molecular Imaging: What We Need to Know Conference, a three-day virtual conference held September 9–11, 2020. The World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) and Stanford University jointly organized this event to provide a forum for WMIS members and affiliates worldwide to openly discuss issues pertaining to diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The participants discussed three main conference themes, “racial diversity in STEM,” “women in STEM,” and “global health,” which were discussed through seven plenary lectures, twelve scientific presentations, and nine roundtable discussions, respectively. Breakout sessions were designed to flip the classroom and seek input from attendees on important topics such as increasing the representation of underrepresented minority (URM) members and women in STEM, generating pipeline programs in the fields of molecular imaging, supporting existing URM and women members in their career pursuits, developing mechanisms to effectively address microaggressions, providing leadership opportunities for URM and women STEM members, improving global health research, and developing strategies to advance culturally competent healthcare.
Aims Childhood cancer survival is suboptimal in most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Radiotherapy plays a significant role in the standard care of many patients. To assess the current status of paediatric radiotherapy, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) undertook a global survey and a review of practice in eight leading treatment centres in middle-income countries (MICs) under Coordinated Research Project E3.30.31; ‘Paediatric radiation oncology practice in low and middle income countries: a patterns-of-care study by the International Atomic Energy Agency.’ Materials and methods A survey of paediatric radiotherapy practices was distributed to 189 centres worldwide. Eight leading radiotherapy centres in MICs treating a significant number of children were selected and developed a database of individual patients treated in their centres comprising 46 variables related to radiotherapy technique. Results Data were received from 134 radiotherapy centres in 42 countries. The percentage of children treated with curative intent fell sequentially from high-income countries (HICs; 82%) to low-income countries (53%). Increasing deficiencies were identified in diagnostic imaging, radiation staff numbers, radiotherapy technology and supportive care. More than 92.3% of centres in HICs practice multidisciplinary tumour board decision making, whereas only 65.5% of centres in LMICs use this process. Clinical guidelines were used in most centres. Practice in the eight specialist centres in MICs approximated more closely to that in HICs, but only 52% of patients were treated according to national/international protocols whereas institution-based protocols were used in 41%. Conclusions Quality levels in paediatric radiotherapy differ among countries but also between centres within countries. In many LMICs, resources are scarce, coordination with paediatric oncology is poor or non-existent and access to supportive care is limited. Multidisciplinary treatment planning enhances care and development may represent an area where external partners can help. Commitment to the use of protocols is evident, but current international guidelines may lack relevance; the development of resources that reflect the capacity and needs of LMICs is required. In some LMICs, there are already leading centres experienced in paediatric radiotherapy where patient care approximates to that in HICs. These centres have the potential to drive improvements in service, training, mentorship and research in their regions and ultimately to improve the care and outcomes for paediatric cancer patients.
Full text available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pbc.24071/epdf Accurate diagnosis is critical for optimal management of pediatric cancer. Pathologists with experience in pediatric oncology are in short supply in the developing world. Telepathology is increasingly used for consultations but its overall contribution to diagnostic accuracy is unknown. We developed a strategy to provide a focused training in pediatric cancer and telepathology support to pathologists in the developing world. After the training period, we compared trainee's diagnoses with those of an experienced pathologist. We next compared the effectiveness of static versus dynamic telepathology review in 127 cases. Results were compared by Fisher's exact test. The diagnoses of the trainee and the expert pathologist differed in only 6.5% of cases (95% CI, 1.2–20.0%). The overall concordance between the telepathology and original diagnoses was 90.6% (115/127; 95% CI, 84.1–94.6%). Brief, focused training in pediatric cancer histopathology can improve diagnostic accuracy. Dynamic and static telepathology analyses are equally effective for diagnostic review. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2012;59:221–225.
In developed countries, pharmacists play a crucial role in designing and implementing cancer treatments as part of a multidisciplinary oncology team. However, developing countries have a shortage of pharmacists, and their role is generally limited to dispensing and selling drugs. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of providing clinical pharmacy educational activities via international teleconferencing to improve cancer care in developing countries. Meticulous preparation and intense promotion of the workshop were done in Egypt before the telepharmacy conferences began. Multiple connectivity tests were performed to resolve technical problems. Nine telepharmacy conferences were delivered during 3-h sessions that were held on three consecutive days. Talks were subsequently made available via Web streaming. Attendees were requested to complete a survey to measure their satisfaction with the sessions. The teleconference was attended by a total of 345 persons, and it was subsequently reviewed online via 456 log-in sessions from 10 countries. Technical issues (e.g., poor auditory quality) were resolved on the first day of the event. The rate of attendees' responses on the survey was 30.1%, and satisfaction with the event was generally good. Telecommunication is a relatively inexpensive approach that may improve pharmacy practices, especially those used to treat patients with cancer in developing countries. Special attention to patient-based telepharmacy education, including the use of cost-effective technology, should be considered.
Purpose: Health research in low- and middle-income countries can generate novel scientific knowledge and improve clinical care, fostering population health improvements to prevent premature death. Project management is a critical part of the success of this research, applying knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to accomplish required goals. Here, we describe the development and implementation of tools to support a multifaceted study of prostate cancer in Africa, focusing on building strategic and operational capacity. Methods: Applying a learning organizational framework, we developed and implemented a project management toolkit (PMT) that includes a management process flowchart, a cyclical center-specific schedule of activities, periodic reporting and communication, and center-specific monitoring and evaluation metrics. Results: The PMT was successfully deployed during year one of the project with effective component implementation occurring through periodic cycles of dissemination and feedback to local center project managers. A specific evaluation was conducted 1 year after study initiation to obtain enrollment data, evaluate individual quality control management plans, and undertake risk log assessments and follow-up. Pilot data obtained identified areas in which centers required mentoring, strengthening, and capacity development. Strategies were implemented to improve project goals and operational capacity through local problem solving, conducting quality control checks and following compliancy with study aims. Moving forward, centers will perform quarterly evaluations and initiate strengthening measures as required. Conclusion: The PMT has fostered the development of both strategic and operational capacity across project centers. Investment in project management resources is essential to ensuring high-quality, impactful health research in low- and middle-income countries.
This article describes the development and editing of Oncopedia, a source of information on pediatric oncology that combines interactive collaborative e-publication with traditional peer-reviewed models. Oncopedia is a product of the International Outreach Program at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Full text available at http://www.councilscienceeditors.org/wp-content/uploads/v32n3p075-077.pdf
ISSUE: Infections are an important problem in hospitalized children in developing countries. Although awareness of infection control can be achieved by providing healthcare providers with education, this may be limited by staff shortages and a lack of trained educators. PROJECT: We used online communication via www.Cure4Kids.org to train infection control educators at 2 hospitals in Venezuela (Hospital JM de los Rios in Caracas and Especialidades in Maracaibo), to deliver infection control course for nurses. Hospital staff and international partners identified topics: infection control precautions, hand hygiene, patient hygiene, vascular access, disinfection, and sterilization. Content was developed as five 45-minute lectures to be delivered during a 5-hour session. We identified educators (4 nurses and 1 physician), obtained permission from the hospital's ethics committee to evaluate participants, and obtained support from the hospital administrators, the nursing department, and the local infectious disease society. Then, we developed the lectures comparing the hospital's current infection control practices with published guidelines. We used online conferencing to coach the educators in Venezuela in the delivery of their assigned lectures. Finally, the trained educators delivered the 5 lectures to the Venezuelan nurses on 2 occasions, and pre- and post-course tests were administered to participants to evaluate the educators' performance. RESULTS: From May 18 to July 8, 2006, www.Cure4Kids.org was used to host weekly meetings of the 5 educators and their 3 supervisors in 2 cities in Venezuela and the authors in Memphis. At the end of this series of meetings, the educators were proficient in their assigned topics. 113 nurses attended the lectures and the post-course test results indicated a 32.5 % increase in knowledge. The program cost US $1,900. LESSONS LEARNED: The organizers and educators valued the online planning and development of the course. Infection-control team members noted that the timing of the course was pertinent to their objectives and gave them visibility and respect from the nursing staff. Additionally, the team in Venezuela owns the course and has the materials needed to repeat it or plan a similar course. This was the first time for collaboration between the infection control teams in the 2 Venezuelan cities. Online conferencing (1) gave international educators with an opportunity to build capacity for further sustainable training at international sites where the human resources and technology are available; and (2) decreased the cost and time spent traveling and facilitated frequent interaction among St. Jude and its partners at the 2 sites in Venezuela.
In developing countries, continuing education for healthcare staff may be limited by staff shortages and lack of sophisticated means of delivery. These limitations have implications for compliance with an important infection control practice, namely good hand hygiene. A comparison was made between the efficacy of two educational tools commonly used in healthcare and practical sanitation settings in developing countries, i.e. videotapes and flipcharts, in delivering hand hygiene education to 67 nurses in a paediatric hospital in El Salvador. Efficacy was measured on the basis of scores obtained in pre- and post-training tests consisting of 10 multiple-choice questions. Half of the nurses received video-based instruction and half received instruction via flipcharts. Both methods of instruction increased participants' knowledge of good hand hygiene, and the extent of knowledge acquisition by the two methods was similar. Feedback obtained from flipchart users six months after training indicated that most of the respondents used the flipchart to teach hand hygiene to patients' families (62.5%), patients (50%) and healthcare workers (43.8%). Flipchart users ranked flipcharts as their favourite educational tool. Flipcharts offer an economical, easy-to-use, non-technological yet effective alternative to videotapes for delivering education in developing countries. Although the use of flipcharts requires a skilled and well-trained instructor, flipcharts could be used more widely to deliver education in resource-poor settings.
Global studies of childhood cancer provide clues to cancer etiology, facilitate prevention and early diagnosis, identify biologic differences, improve survival rates in low-income countries (LIC) by facilitating quality improvement initiatives, and improve outcomes in high-income countries (HIC) through studies of tumor biology and collaborative clinical trials. Incidence rates of cancer differ between various ethnic groups within a single country and between various countries with similar ethnic compositions. Such differences may be the result of genetic predisposition, early or delayed exposure to infectious diseases, and other environmental factors. The reported incidence of childhood leukemia is lower in LIC than in more prosperous countries. Registration of childhood leukemia requires recognition of symptoms, rapid access to primary and tertiary medical care (a pediatric cancer unit), a correct diagnosis, and a data management infrastructure. In LIC, where these services are lacking, some children with leukemia may die before diagnosis and registration. In this environment, epidemiologic studies would seem to be an unaffordable luxury, but in reality represent a key element for progress. Hospital-based registries are both feasible and essential in LIC, and can be developed using available training programs for data managers and the free online Pediatric Oncology Networked Data Base (www.POND4kids.org), which allows collection, analysis, and sharing of data.