The aim is to train medical and paramedical personnel to care for sick children locally.
Over 18 years, more than 450 African doctors and nurses have been trained in pediatric oncology through the GFAOP in the leading cancer services.
In addition to pediatric oncologists, other medical specialists (surgeons, pathologists, ophthalmologists, radiotherapists...) and nurses also benefit from training related to pediatric oncology.
This is the main expense item of the association.
Nevertheless, only 10% of children with cancer will be able to reach the specialized centers, an important awareness-raising work is under way.
In order to accommodate a growing number of children, it is essential to increase the training capacities of the staff and bridging skills by a training plan taking into account the needs of each country (centralized and decentralized training).
These courses last from 15 days to 2 months in France, in Morocco or in some sub-Saharan African units. They are open to different disciplines in order to acquire the skills necessary for the practice of pediatric oncology. All medical and paramedical disciplines are concerned.
• The Inter-University Diploma of Pediatric Oncology (DIUOP) in France
Open to foreign students in France, a one-year training program to acquire the ability to take care of children and adolescents with malignant disease in the multidisciplinary pediatric oncology practice.
• Training sessions for pediatric oncology for nursing staff
The school trains 20 to 30 practitioners every year during sessions in various specialties (paediatrics, surgery, nursing...).
It also promotes interdisciplinary work to improve the handling of the condition.
• The University Diploma of Pediatric Cancer (DUCP) in Morocco
This Franco-Moroccan diploma initiated by the GFAOP with the faculties of medicine of Paris-South and Rabat, is being prepared in a year. Open to about twenty students each year, this course provides theoretical courses and practical workshops in Morocco and France. It is designed to meet an ever-growing demand for childhood cancer specialists.
• Collegial training
Collegial training sessions take place during the GFAOP meetings (Board of Directors and General Assembly). These meetings bring together doctors from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan African pilot units. They contribute to valuable knowledge exchanges.
• Training of unit managers
The GFAOP assists unit managers in acquiring postgraduate degrees such as the Doctorate of Science enabling them to evolve in the hierarchy of their institutions. Climbing the African Hospital Administration ladder is a guarantee of the promotion of African pediatric oncology.
• Training for new pediatric oncology unit openings
After acceptance in General Assembly of a new unit creation, decentralized in the region or in a new country, training for a doctor/nurse duo on good practices is organized in France.
• Training in the Pilot Units
GFAOP's members regularly visit the units to work with the teams.
• Training of Clinical Research Associates
To establish a cancer registry, staff is trained for data collection and sending in order to carry out the clinical studies.
• Nurse training
Although training has benefited 85 nurses from 13 countries over the past 18 years, these training courses are still insufficient in number and quality.
Significant progress has been made in the treatment of pediatric cancers, but nursing remains a weak point for child care.
However, progress is essential for rigorous implementation and monitoring of treatments.
Beginning in 2014, in order to meet the strong expectations of the various pediatric oncology units wishing to better train nurses and retain them, an acceleration of the nursing training process was carried out :
- A theoretical and general training in the African School of Pediatric Oncology on "Cancerology fundamentals".
This basic one-week group training is intended for nursing teachers.
- « Pain and palliative care » training
The GFAOP teams are too often poorly facing pain management because of lack of training and medicines.
It is therefore essential to ensure adequate training for the doctor-nurse duo.
The "Laurette Fugain" scholarships: since 2014, 2 fellowships have been awarded to nurses in the pilot units. The latter benefit from 2-month internships in France in the most prestigious wards.
As part of the 5- and 10-year GFAOP development project, we expect to train at least 50 nurses per year for pilot units in the Maghreb and Africa.
"Pain and Palliative Care" classes
The training courses "Pain and Palliative Care" classes
Thanks to therapeutic advances in the last few years, children recover from cancer.
In parallel, supportive care has been developed to improve the management of symptoms, especially pain, at all stages of treatment. It is important to bring these practices to Africa where pain remains poorly handled. The Sanofi Espoir Foundation through the "My Child Matters" program supports this project over 3 years.
Early diagnosis Training of health staff
In order to ensure children early arrival in pediatric oncology services, health staff will be trained to relay information to health centers in urban and remote areas.
Other medical specialties
While surgeons and pathologists are present in all Francophone sub-Saharan African countries, they are inadequate and face multiple activities, pediatric oncology accounting for only a small portion. These two activities are crucial in the multidisciplinary care of children with cancer. Further training in pediatric oncology should continue.
• Nursing education
A training program for nurses working in pediatric oncology services aims to raise awareness of the specific medical problems of children's cancer pathology.
Since 2014, the NGO "Laurette Fugain" supports the GFAOP, offering 2 scholarships each year to nurses from the Pilot Units. The latter benefit from two-month internships in France in the most prestigious departments, at the end of which they must produce a dissertation.