FOHG has commenced supporting the development of an integrated, multidisciplinary Oncology Unit at Professor Johannes Hospital in Kupang. To this end, FOGH has developed a 3 year programme commenced in early 2015 to assist in upskilling a physician, surgeon, and nurse in oncology, and to support the development of pathology services by up-skilling a pathologist. This programme has resulted in the two week visit of Dr Jane, Dr Alders, nurse Ramlia, and the intended visit of Dr Heni to Flinders Medical Centre with a collaborative programme run in conjunction with the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer and the Departments of Surgery and Pathology.
This has already resulted in a return visit to Kupang by Dr Chris from Flinders, and ongoing mentoring of the fledgling unit by the Flinders Units.
Further visits are planned over the next two years. Importantly, this initiative has already led to substantial benefit for patients with cancer in Professor Johannes Hospital, and the support of the governor in Kupang as well. The development of screening programmes and the increased cancer-awareness campaigns in the community, which have resulted from the emphasis on cancer diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, all bode well for the future, though many obstacles have still to be overcome.