There is a drastic shortage of accessible knowledge and quality training programmes for comprehensive cancer control. In some regions, local capacity to train and mentor practitioners is often insufficient to ensure sustainable cancer control and to counter the effects of ‘brain drain.’ In cooperation with its international partners in cancer control, the IAEA has developed the Virtual University for Cancer Control (VUCCnet). As a first step, VUCCnet Africa was developed as an innovative pilot project that is helping address the human resource shortage by using e-learning and traditional teaching approaches to develop human resources in cancer control in Africa.
The VUCCnet Africa project, funded by the Roche African Research Foundation, the US Government and the IAEA, is focusing initially on four Member States that represent the English-speaking component of the project: Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. In further developing cancer education and training in the pilot countries, South Africa and Egypt are mentors in the project.
VUCCnet Africa is building on existing materials, African training networks and African infrastructure to ensure that VUCCnet Africa programmes are embedded into existing African education and training institutions (professional, academic and vocational). VUCCnet Africa Programmes are being developed in cooperation with these institutions and national accrediting bodies, thus leading to local recognition.