In July 2021, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust became part of a global health partnership, the Kenya UK Healthcare Alliance. The partnership encourages collaborative working to build capacity and undertake research to improve clinical outcomes and care for people affected by cancer in Kenya.
Building on relationships forged through the Alliance, several initiatives have since been progressed with the Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital (KUTRRH).
The first is a ‘Foundation in Oncology’ module that can be delivered via a digital or real classroom to general nursing staff in Kenya who have not had the opportunity to formally study cancer care.
The development of this module was made possible with investment from The Christie International, enabling educationalists, clinicians, and an international fellow within the Trust to contribute their time to the project. Through regular virtual engagement with counterparts in KUTRRH and other stakeholders in Kenya and Uganda, the team has ensured that the module follows the interest of the learner and adapts to cultural norms, values, and sensitivities in the context of healthcare delivery within East Africa.
Additional funding provided by THET enabled Alison Sanneh, The Christie’s radiotherapy education manager, to visit Kenya and Uganda in February 2023 to train nearly 50 facilitators to deliver this module to nurses across the 2 countries.
With onsite international placements to The Christie resuming after COVID-19, the Trust has also hosted 2 clinical observers from KUTRRH for a period of 4 weeks during October 2022: Dr Caroline Tonio in Medical Oncology and Dr Peter Mulatya in Clinical Oncology.
2 other doctors from KUTRRH were hosted by Manchester University Foundation Trust during the same period.
During their time in Manchester the doctors were introduced to researchers from The Christie and The University of Manchester. The researchers are collaborating with KUTRRH in an National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded ‘Global Health Research Group Programme’ investigating early detection of oesophageal cancer. This programme was also born out of relationships established through the Kenya UK Healthcare Alliance.
Dr Tonio from KUTRRH remarked that she had a good learning experience and was looking forward to continuing to work on projects that she started at The Christie when she returned home.