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Challenges And Opportunities In Cancer Diagnosis In Ethiopia: In-Depth Exploration Of Practitioners’ View

Author: 
Werissaw Haileselassie,Mirgissa Kaba, Mahlet ArayaSellasie, Tefera Mulugeta, and Wajana Lako Labisso
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Despite all its critical roles in cancer detection, directing therapeutic approaches and patient management, the state of pathology service in Ethiopia and factors affecting its role are not documented. Objective: This study intends to explore the challenges and opportunities of cancer diagnosis in Ethiopia. Methods: The study was conducted at the Black Lion Specialized Hospital (BLSH), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Purposive sampling technique was used to identify pathologists to participate in the study. A qualitative method using semi-structured interview guide question was employed to address the problem. A total of 16 pathologists were involved in the study. Interview was audio-taped following permission secured from each participant. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis. Result: The finding of the study shows that personal provider level challenges and lack of equipment and supplies affect pathology service provision at BLSH. Negative attitude of patients towards diagnostic procedure, inadequate training of the professionals, shortage of skilled human power are personal level challenges affecting pathology service provision. On the other hand, lack of quality reagents and equipment, poor maintenance efficiency, weak logistic system for delivery of specimens and poor ICT services ware the other major bottle-necks hindering cancer diagnostic services in Ethiopia. The initiative to operationalized tele-pathology was identified as a major opportunity to improve cancer diagnostic services. Conclusion: Improvement of the pathology service requires all stakeholders (the experts, authorities, and the community) to work together to up-lift the pathology service from its sub-standardized status in Ethiopia. The department has to be dedicated to look the opportunities through the challenges-by developing SOPs, digital documentation and initiating sub-specialty programs.

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