Our Strategic Expansion Plan in support of Paediatric Oncology in Tanzania
In terms of children’s cancer services, Tanzania is already proudly, the most collaborative country across the continent of Africa. All current treatment centres use the same protocols, pool chemotherapy from a single source (We Are TLM) and participate in weekly tumour board discussion calls. This model has worked in the existing centres structure. There is every reason to believe that this model could be expanded until it is truly national. We want every child with cancer in Tanzania to have a fighting chance.
With a goal of twenty-seven collaborative treatment centres within the network in five to ten years, TLMSEP covers the first five years, (the period 2020-2024) of this expansion. We have not limited ourselves in our ambition: the ideal is to achieve twenty-seven centres in five years. We do however understand there are many factors to aid or hinder this goal and as such have suggested ten years as a reasonable maximum timeline.
Given that our expansion aims to reach as many children as early as possible, our approach considers many factors. Firstly, we have compiled and studied in detail all available patient data and referral records for Paediatric Oncology cases over a period exceeding eight years. Secondly, the health service distribution across various landscapes and transport infrastructures of the regions, both difficult to reach and densely populated, has been studied in identifying appropriate partner centres.
As shown in Fig. 2, thanks to our partners at Duke University, who kindly mapped the population and available health service centres, we believe that a minimum of twenty-seven treatment centres (a combination of Quaternary- Tertiary-Secondary (Q-T-S centres – see below for details) are required to access 95% of the target population with a four-hour journey from home to participating hospital.
The following five project areas will be undertaken across the network depending on the care level of the partner facility. Click on each to learn more.
Fig 1: Current coverage with 8 centres Fig 2: Proposed coverage with 27 centres.