AWACAN-ED (African aWAreness of CANcer & Early Diagnosis) is an NIHR-funded Global Health Research Group focussing on Advancing Early Diagnosis of Cancer in Southern Africa.
By 2030, about 24 million people worldwide will develop cancer each year. Most cases will occur in low- and middle- income (LMIC) countries because people in these countries are living longer. While more people are getting cancer, services to diagnose and to treat cancer are often not widely available, and there are huge differences in care-seeking and quality of care. Cancer outcomes can be improved by early detection and timely diagnosis.
Our team includes researchers from South Africa and Zimbabwe working with a UK research team led from Queen Mary University of London. We aim to advance the early diagnosis of cancer in Southern Africa by developing and evaluating electronic tools (e-Tools) to improve care-seeking and reduce healthcare delays in two countries: Zimbabwe and South Africa. We will focus on cervical and breast cancer in women and colorectal cancer in men and women, as these are common cancers that have relatively easy methods for detection and treatment, especially in the early stages.
Alongside the research aspects, we also aim to strengthen research capacity in Southern Africa through training programmes and mentorship of emerging cancer researchers. We will provide studentships to fund and support Masters and PhD students in both South Africa and Zimbabwe and organise an annual AWACAN-ED Southern African School for Cancer Research.
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Image(s) by TJ Maposhere