Dr Parkin evaluated the Swaziland National Cancer Registry on 13-16 Feb. After the assessment, it was discussed then agreed that the SNCR could join the AFCRN, on a provisional basis, becoming the 31st member.

Dr Parkin, accompanied by Dr Yvonne Joko (Cameroon), Dr Guy N’Da (Cote d’Ivoire) and Dr Emmanuel Chirpaz (Reunion), visited the cancer registry in Libreville Gabon on 6th March. The recommendation was to firstly complete data collection within the Institut de Cancérologie de Libreville (ICL), before expanding into a PBCR.

Dr Michael Odutola (Coordinator, Nigerian National System for Cancer Registries), contracted as an AFCRN Consultant, conducted a consultancy visit in the Ekiti Cancer Registry, Nigeria, 10 – 12 April. This visit was initiated following an invitation from Dr Abidemi Omonisi, Director of the Ekiti Cancer Registry. The finding was that the registry has good support from the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital. However, results revealed only one source per cancer patient was recorded and that information on patients’ residence address was not well identified.

10th July, Dr Parkin spoke at the Accra Cancer Registry Symposium, and met with MoH, together with representative from Stanford University (US) and significant individuals from Ghana. The objective of the symposium and relevant talks was to set the stage to start a national cancer registration programme for Ghana. Dr Parkin emphasised that although the programme centre is likely to be in Accra, the experience and skills that the Kumasi cancer registry has already developed must be deployed when planning national activities.

14th July, Dr Parkin held talks with Prof Anderson DOH, Executive Secretary NCCP and Pr Paul NDOM in Yaounde, Cameroon. The goal was to find out whether restarting the cancer registry in Yaoundé was feasible, and if so, what requirement/input was needed. Due to individual challenges, the discussion did not come to any solid agreement and solution.

          17-18th July, Dr Parkin visited the cancer registry in Douala. Although the situation in Douala was more favourable, it was disappointing to learn that neither the technicians trained in Libreville (mentioned above) has a funded post in the hospital. An application by a US researcher for an NCI grant to support cancer registration in Douala (and other centres in Cameroon) was unsuccessful. The question of funding for the registry remains open.

5-7th September, two representatives of AFCRN – Dr Anne Korir, Head of Kenya National Cancer Registry and Dr Charles Dzamalala, Head of Malawi Cancer Registry – were invited to speak at the inaugural meeting of the Project: Strengthening Statistical Capacity Building for Cancer Registries in East Africa.  The Project was coordinated by The East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), funded by the World Bank.

        Prior to the meeting, Dr Parkin has sent an AFCRN position paper to all AFCRN members, once again, to remind all members the policy on providing registry data to outside agencies; and to emphasise the real needs for improving cancer registration in the region was to strengthen the existing ones and to avoid establishing additional new cancer registries irrationally.

       Follow up conversations were being held between ECSA HC and IARC.

13-16 September, Dr Parkin visited the cancer registry in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the re-start of the cancer registration for Ouagadougou. Dr Parkin’s visit was much welcomed and appreciated by the MoH, WHO officers and other stakeholders. In conclusion, there seemed to be enough support from government to fund a restart of registration.

The AFCRN Childhood Cancer Registration project was also introduced to them. An in-depth assessment to various sources of data and training to local staff, by Cecile Ingabire, were planned for January 2018.

11-20th September, prior to Dr Parkin’s arrival (18-21st), Dr Michael Odutola, from the Nigerian National Systems of Cancer Registries, visited the Sierra Leone Cancer Registry in Freetown as an AFCRN consultant, and provided a one week training course on cancer registration methods to the local staff. After the inspection by Dr Parkin, it was decided that the SLCR would receive some financial support to undertake retrospective data collection for the years 2015-2017. The MoU to support this work expired on 31st Dec 2017.

9-11th October, Eric Chokunonga assessed the establishment of the Ekurhuleni Cancer Registry in Johannesburg (South Africa). The aim was to help identify the major sources of information on cancer cases. 

25th October – 3rd November, Eric Chokunonga conducted a consultancy tour to two cancer registries (Mwanza and Moshi) and one hospital site (Mbeya) in Tanzania. The visits formed part of the Tanzania National Cancer Registration Program, coordinated by the Vital Strategies and the AFCRN, and is supported by the Bloomberg Foundation.

        Findings were a) CanReg support was needed for the Mwanza and Moshi cancer registries; b) a more in-depth inspection was needed for the Mbeya city and Mbeya district; c) an exploratory visit to Dodoma municipal district will be necessary.

21-24th November, Dr Parkin participated at the cancer registration stakeholders meeting in Dar es Salaam. Other meeting attendees included Dr Sarah Maongezi, Acting Assistant Director for NCD MoU Tanzania, medical professionals from cancer registries or hospitals in Tanzania, and representatives from the Vital Strategies.  The purpose of the meeting was to bring together all of the relevant stakeholders to discuss the current status of cancer registries in Tanzania, jointly identify MOH priorities pertaining to population-based cancer registries, and jointly draft a work plan that reflects these priorities. During the meeting, Dr Parkin presented the findings and recommendations provided by consultant Eric Chokunonga.

During that week, Dr Parkin also made a number of visits in Dar es Salaam (inc. to the Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Muhimbili Medical Centre and the Aga Khan Hospital). The objective of the visits was to review the current status of cancer registration in the major facilities with cancer treatment services in Dar, with a view to making plans for population based registration for the city. The conclusion is that establishing a population based cancer registry for Dar is difficult; nor finding one single centre among the big institutes to act as the coordination centre for the region. The decision of how to move forward will be formulated as part of the strategic plan for Tanzania, one of the expected outcomes of the Tanzania National Cancer Registration Program.