The Mwanza population-based cancer registry was established in 2016, with the support from African Cancer Registry Network (AFCRN), as an expansion and improvement of the hospital-based cancer registry which was started in 2015 and supported by the Duke Global Health Institute. Since 2017, the registry has been funded by the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative as part of the national cancer registration programme in Tanzania.

Mwanza cancer registry is situated in the Department of Oncology, Bugando Medical Centre. It is managed by a part-time Director (an oncologist) and a full time cancer registrar. The registry involves all stakeholders at Bugando Medical Centre, Sekou Toure Referral Region Hospital  and Sengerema Designated District Hospital.

 The Mwanza Cancer Registry covers the population of three districts in the lake zone Mwanza region: Nyamagana, Ilemela and Sengerema with a total population estimated 885,000 in 2016-2019, according to the census of 2002 and 2012, and post-censual projections. 



 Source of information:

The main sources of information are hospital (medical records), pathology laboratory, hospital wards, mortuary and clinics. For research and management purposes, the International Classification Disease for Oncology(ICD O) is used for cancer coding; place of resident, tribe are also coded according to the Tanzanian Standard Procedure Manual.


Data collection and management:

Both active and passive data collection methods are used to avoid missing cases. 

Clinic: At check in, files were reviewed for checkmark or yellow sticker to indicate if they have been previously registered. If no mark, following clinic visit, registrar will complete a notification form for registration. If previously registered, check for cancer recurrence or change in diagnosis if more than 3 month since previous registration.

Ward: Once a week cancer registrar makes a follow-up with the focused point person for a list of new patients. During ward visits, the cancer registrar notes all newly admitted cases. Data collection forms are initiated. The medical file will be retrieved from the medical records department for complete registration at a later time. Registrar review inpatients death book monthly. If a patient’s detail matched a registered case, information will be updated in the CanReg5 database.

Hematology: Hematologist notifies the cancer registrar of all new hematologic malignancy diagnoses made based on peripheral blood evaluation. The File number is noted to enable case finding within the medical records.

Solid Pathology: Registrar review pathology database and print copies of the pathology reports for all new cancer diagnoses. This includes cytopathology and histopathology. When out-patients without a hospital in patient file number are identified, data are abstracted directly from the pathology form. If the registrar has any doubt about the cases from the pathology database, he seeks clarification from the pathologist (s). File number and diagnosis are recorded on the data collection form, followed by case finding and registration completion.

Medical records: out-patients and in-patients records, admission and discharge forms.


Recent results

The registry adheres to the Tanzania Standard Procedure Manual 2019 with respect to the preservation of confidentiality in connection with or during the process of collection, storage, use and transmission of identifiable data. Requests for the release of data should be made in writing to the registry; requests for data involving identification of individual subjects require special permission, involving appropriate safeguards for confidentiality.


Registry contacts:
Director of The Registry:  Dr Nestory A Masalu
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Registrar: Franco Afyusisye
Bugandao Medical Centre, P.O.Box 1370, Mwanza
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Updated: 25 Sept 2020