The Malawi National Cancer Centre (MNCC) is an ongoing project by the government of Malawi and partners, titled "Establishing a Cancer Treatment Centre in Lilongwe to Improve Treatment Options for Cancer Patients".
The centre started operating in early 2020. It is currently operating administratively as a department under Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) with plans to be autonomous in the future. KCH is a referral hospital in the central region of Malawi. The acting head of the centre is part of the senior management team of KCH.
The MNCC provides closely integrated oncology and palliative care services in partnership with other departments at KCH, Baylor College of Medicine (Baylor) and University of North Carolina Projects (UNC). The radiotherapy unit for MNCC is under construction.
Currently, MNCC mainly provides adult oncology and palliative care services for the central and northern regions of Malawi, while aiming to expand nationally after the completion of its radiotherapy unit. Baylor, in partnership with Global Haematology Oncology Paediatric Excellence (Global HOPE), provides paediatric oncology and palliative care services, whereas UNC concentrates on cancer research on top of the associated clinical care.
In partnership, the centre provides specialised services in pathology, adult medical oncology, paediatric hemato-oncology, comprehensive palliative care and oncology research. Cancer related surgery and radiological and laboratory interventions are provided by a separate department of the Kamuzu Central Hospital which works hand in hand with the centre, pending full establishment of its own services. Radiotherapy and nuclear medicine services are under development.
Palliative and Supportive Care
The oncology and palliative care services are offered by a multidisciplinaryteam that includes among others, oncologists in different fields, doctors, clinical officers, nurses, specialized palliative care providers, social workers, dieticians, nutritionists, physiotherapists and spiritual leaders.
Patients are firstly seen by clinical, medical or paediatric oncologists and their clinical teams for assessment and general treatment planning. Then, a team of palliative care providers do further assessment on issues related to palliative medicine (counselling, pain management, home based care and rehabilitation) and make further plans of action.
Some of the supportive services provided include in-patients palliation, spiritual support, special needs education, identification and referral of patients and provision of socio-economic needs where available, and mentoring of home care giving practices (medicine administration/storage, wound care, food preparation, feeding practices, and physiotherapy).
Last update: July 2022