The New Times (Kigali)

12 November 2012

Rwanda, U.S. in Cancer Treatment Partnership

Government through the Ministry of Health has entered an agreement with US based Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre to train public and private medical personnel on cancer treatment and management.

The training will also focus on teaching pharmacists on handling drugs and hazardous compounds in conformity with United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) provision 797.

USP 797 is a far-reaching regulation that governs a wide range of pharmacy policies and procedures. It is designed both to cut down on infections transmitted to patients through pharmaceutical products and to better protect staff working in pharmacies in the course of their exposure to pharmaceuticals.

This regulation was issued by U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP), to govern any pharmacy that prepares "compounded sterile preparations" (CSPs). Many pharmacies fit this description.

The coordinator of this project, Dr Fabian Ntaganda of Rwanda Military Hospital said the training is intended for all medical personnel in cancer management from the four hospitals handling cancer management and the private sector.

"The participants will be given information regarding the policies and standards for 797 compliance as well as other procedures designed to safely prepare medications and minimise risk of infection spread," he said.

Dr. Tanya Trippett from the cancer centre said the intent of the training is to enlighten participants on personnel and facilities that are essential to provide better care for children and adults with cancer.

The centre founded in 1884 as the New York Cancer Hospital has long been a leader in cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

It was the first to develop services specifically dedicated to the psychiatric aspects of cancer, to the relief of cancer pain and to genetic counselling.

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