The introduction of new practices and procedures, improving the diagnosis capacities and raising the number and type of surgeries carried out were some of the key results highlighted by the external evaluation undertaken by the Portuguese consultancy firm Logframe on the “Oncology Cape Verde” project. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has been developing project with the Cape Verde Ministry of Health since 2018 at the Dr. Agostinho Neto Hospital in Praia, and the Dr. Baptista de Sousa Hospitais in Mindelo.
This evaluation, with its overall results considered “very positive”, identifies an 80% increase in oncology surgery and an 18% rise in chemotherapy sessions as well as a 30% reduction in the number patients transferred to Portugal between 2017 and 2020. These results contributed to a 3% decrease in the cancer mortality rate between 2018 and 2020 with the Coordinator of the National Program for the Prevention and Control of Oncological Diseases, Carla Barbosa, highlighting the impact of the improvements to the diagnosis of breast and prostate cancers.
Furthermore, the evaluation also focused on the potential effects of future actions in this field – establishing an oncological registry at the Agostinho Neto Hospital that would then become a national registry, which was deemed an “important step to a better evaluation of the incidence of different tumours”. This also plans for changes in the training and other areas susceptible to improvement by digital options – because due to the COVID-19 pandemic having disrupted the initially planned training activities, the adaptation of training to the digital context was accelerated.
The relationship between the investment made and the results obtained was better than expected and hence the evaluation concluded with the “need to expand, consolidate and deepen the interventions already underway within the objective of continuing to improve oncological healthcare in Cape Verde”.
The “Oncology Cape Verde” project is structured in accordance with the priority axes of the national strategic plan for this area and holds the purpose of contributing to improving oncological health in Cape Verde through technical training and improving the performance of professionals in the sector, the procedures and the best healthcare practices for this field.