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CANCER TRAINING AND EDUCATION

CANCER CONTROL 2015 77

the process of making this available to other regions of the

world with a focus on low- and middle-income countries

(LMICs). This is particularly important as 78% of adults and

98% of children in need of palliative care at the end of life live

in LMICs (4). The first step in this process is already in place

through collaboration with the Bangalore Hospice Trust,

Karunashraya, and the Indian Palliative Care Association

through their Chairman, Dr Nagesh Simha. Review of the

existing materials has already begun, the course began

production alongside the 22nd International Conference of

Indian Association of Palliative Care in Hyderabad, India,

February 2015 (http://iapcon2015hyd.com). The course is

being tailored to the needs and resources available to Indian

health-care professionals and will be made available for free

through ecancer.org with the launch scheduled for

September 2015. Additional funding is also being identified

that will allow the course to be translated and tailored for

the Francophone African community as well as being made

available in Spanish and Portuguese for the Latin American

audience. This project and the additional opportunities that

are now in progress have offered an exciting opportunity for

ecancer to be able to establish itself as a leading global

resource for palliative care education and to hopefully

improve the quality of palliative care offered across the

world.

Additional library of resources

During the development of the e-learning course, it became

apparent to ecancer that there is a great deal of high quality

work being done in the field of palliative care and oncology in

Africa. As a not-for-profit organization that aims to improve

education and communication in the field of oncology, we

wanted to embrace the contacts and impetus that had been

created throughout the e-learning development process. In

order to develop the course we visited Africa a number of

times, and had many conversations with leading figures in

the world of palliative care that were keen for ecancer to

assist in improving the dissemination of the latest research

and developments.

ecancer has a library of over 3000 videos covering a whole

range of oncology topics and we were keen to add palliative

care resources as well as some specifically focused on cancer

in Africa. We published a number of interviews with leading

experts from conferences including AORTIC 2013 and the

African Palliative Care Association 2013 Conference; these

videos have been viewed over 70,000 times in total.

In addition to this, ecancer published articles in its peerreviewed

journal with an editorial titled "Collaboration

across continents to produce e-learning for palliative care

education in sub-Saharan Africa" and a special issue of our

journal called Palliative care in Africa which was guest edited

by Professor Anne Merriman who was a founder member of

the African Palliative Care Association and was recently

nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The special issue

contains five articles covering varying topics in African

palliative care, it was published for free and is available

open-access.

Conclusion

ecancer was originally commissioned to develop an elearning

course for health-care professionals in Africa. By

leveraging the wide-ranging expertise available to us in the

field of online education, we are able to expand the lifetime

of that project to develop a whole range of additional

resources which are available for free to the oncology and

palliative care community. We are now tailoring the elearning

course to make it suitable for health-care

professionals in India and beyond, with a key focus on

ensuring we are able to maximise the educational

opportunities these new networks and interactions bring.

All of this has been done with patients at the core; the aim is

for the education and information we have developed in

collaboration with our many partners to assist the global

health-care community with our shared goal of improving

patient care. l

Acknowledgements

Massive thanks go to everyone who has contributed to this elearning

project and continues to help ecancer in its mission to

improve communication and education for the oncology

community.

Danny Burke is Head of Education at ecancer.org, the free

educational platform for the oncology community. He has a

Postgraduate Certificate in online education and has worked at

a number of oncology and education charities in fundraising,

business development and resource development. Danny has a

passion for demonstrating the effectiveness of online

educational interventions and, together with ecancer, is leading

the way in recognizing its importance.

Dr Fiona Rawlinson is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine in

South Wales, UK, and Course Director for the Palliative Care

Education Department at Cardiff University. Supporting

creative and innovative education in palliative care underpins

her work. The most recent project was a collaboration with

ecancer and African Palliative Care Association, which has

resulted in 20 open-access online learning modules for palliative

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