Oncology fellowship program in sub-Saharan Africa

Partnership objectives

The objective of the fellowship program is to train 10 oncology fellows over a period of two years on:

  1. Competencies to recognise cancer, make prompt diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment
  2. Skills to effectively carry out cancer prevention programs, community surveillance and early detection
  3. Leadership and clinical / environmental management of cancer
  4. Self-learning, critical thinking, research and the capacity to translate cancer research into practice and policy.

Cancer education for primary healthcare professionals in Kenya Cancer education for primary healthcare professionals in Kenya Copyright Takeda

What are the health needs and challenges?

  • The SSA region accounts for only 0.3% of the world’s medical expenditure for cancer, though it accounts for 14% of the world population.
  • Approximately 95% of cancer patients in SSA are diagnosed at late- or end- stage disease, drastically reducing the chances of successful treatment.
  • The cancer fatality ratio (ratio of mortality to incidence) in SSA is high, estimated to be near 80%.
  • There is a shortage of cancer specialists in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. For instance, Kenya currently has 16 oncologists and 8 radiation specialists for a population in excess of 47 million people.
  • The cancer burden in SSA is predicted to increase by 85% from current levels by the year 2030.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The partnership is dedicated to enhancing cancer care through training of health care practitioners who hold a Masters of Medicine in Internal Medicine. The practitioners will receive a formal certification in Medical Oncology on completion of the program.

 By addressing the shortages of Health Care Professionals in this field, will allow for a;

  • shift in country statistics from late- to early-stage cancer diagnosis
  • increase in the number of facilities offering access to cancer treatments
  • improvement in access to treatment

Summary of impact and forward looking information

This partnership aims to build capacity and ultimately create in Nairobi a Centre of Excellence for cancer in the SSA region. 

Once Nairobi is fully established as a centre of excellence for cancer care for the region and has achieved measurable success, the initiativess will be expanded into the other SSA countries.

Measurement of progress towards objectives

With approximately 40 000 new registered cases of cancers per year in Kenya alone and with the cancer burden expected to increase by 85% by 2030, the amount of patients who could ultimately be impacted by this partnership is significant.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Takeda

Partner(s) Nairobi University

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Cancer

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Training


Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Kenya

Start Date 2016

More information Annual Report 2016

Anticipated completion date Ongoing