Francophone oncology congress prioritises health in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa

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During the 4th annual AFSOS Congress held 26-28 September in Paris, a plenary session on health in sub-Saharan Francophone Africa highlighted a prioritisation of care among the Francophone medical community.

Dr Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of Medicine Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders), emphasised the role of civil society, noting that as long as there will not be a sustainable system of social care, there will be no possibility of cancer care in African countries.

Professor Dapa Diallo of the University Hospital in Bamako (Mali) in turn emphasised the importance of supportive care in Africa, where late diagnosis is prevalent. He briefly mentioned the anthropological aspects of cancer in Africa – extreme poverty, ignorance, social inequality, inequity in access to care.

Using the example of sickle cell pain management, Professor Diallo highlighted the possibilities of providing  quality care adapted to the local context, noting the importance of improving early detection, providing better prospects for treatment and improving tools for assessing pain in the Malian context.

The plenary session served as an inaugural collaborative initiative between AFSOS and the Global Alliance Against Cancer.

During an additional session on the management of pain and palliative care in Africa, the issue of access to opioids in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa was addressed by Dr Copel and Dominique Chatelet with field work in Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Congo and Morocco presented.

Read a review of the session in French.

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