Abstract oral session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Building capacity for oncology nursing education and training in low- and middle-income countries: A call to action (#330)

Annette Galassi 1 , Allison Burg 2 , Julie Schneider 1 , Makeda Williams 1 , Majeda Al-Ruzzieh 3 , Jean Bosco Bigirimana 4 , Lori Buswell 5 , Julia Challinor 6 , Greta Cummings 7 , Sara Day 8 , Luz Esperanza Ayala de Calvo 9 , Kathy Houlihan 5 , Brenda Nevidjon 7 , Marina Teahon 10 , Winnie So 11 , Pamela Were 12
  1. National Cancer Institute, Rockville, United States
  2. American Society for Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, Virginia, USA
  3. King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, Jordan
  4. Inshuti Mu Buzima, Rwinkwavu, Rwanda
  5. Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  6. International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research, Brussels, Belgium
  7. International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  8. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
  9. Nurse Consultant, Bogota, Colombia
  10. Union for International Cancer Control, Geneva, Switzerland
  11. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
  12. The Epidemiology of Burkitt Lymphoma in East-African Children and Minors (EMBLEM), Eldoret, Kenya

Background and Context:

As the cancer burden increases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), nursing education, the practice environment, role expansion and research are not keeping pace. The International Taskforce on Oncology Nursing in LMICs was established to highlight the critical role of LMIC nurses in cancer care and engage ministries of health, nursing associations, academic institutions, health care delivery organizations, and funders to work on solutions.


The Taskforce sought to develop a White Paper, recommendations and action plan to highlight the critical need for oncology nursing education and training in LMICs and catalyze action from ministries of health, nursing associations, academic institutions and funders. 


The U.S. National Cancer Institute convened a group of international stakeholders from International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, Union for International Cancer Control, International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research, Partners in Health, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital along with oncology nurses from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Middle East. The Taskforce conducted an environmental scan and literature review of oncology nursing education activities in LMICs. The findings formed the basis for the development of a white paper and consensus recommendations that serve as tools for stakeholders to focus attention on priority issues for oncology nursing.

Programme/Policy Process:

The Taskforce identified education and training needs, defined recommendations and obtained endorsements from leading organizations and individuals in the global cancer community. Next steps include developing and implementing an action plan and identifying potential funding sources from developed and developing countries including government, philanthropic organizations and professional associations. 

Outcomes/What was learned:

The Taskforce summarized key challenges faced by oncology nurses in LMICs and developed consensus for recommendations targeted to specific audiences with the power to affect change in oncology nursing in LMICs. It is also critical to develop a plan to disseminate and implement the recommendations.