Belize City, Belize, October 8, 20201 (PAHO) – The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) collaborated with the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) and Global Oncology (GO) to conduct a two-day training to strengthen the service delivery capacity of the KHMH Cancer Unit.
Through the EU-funded Health Sector Support Programme Belize Project, PAHO/WHO was able to bring three Global Oncology professionals to provide capacity building on cancer chemotherapy for nurses and pharmacists working in the Cancer Unit of the KHMH. The team included Global Oncology Pharmacy Educator - Sandy On, Global Oncology Nurse Educator - Kristen Cummings, and Global Oncology Program Director - Phil Garrity.
“This two-day capacity building will contribute to improving clinical competency of staff nurses in chemotherapy administration and will also improve the skills of pharmacists in safely preparing and mixing cancer treatment medications,” said Dr. Ramon Yacab, Oncologist at the KHMH.
PAHO/WHO recognizes the priority in building capacity for cancer drug therapy. The main objective of the training was to ensure that persons in need of cancer medical treatment can have access to that service in Belize.
“The training assisted the KHMH Oncology team in the preparation of medications for cancer,” said Nurse Lorna Kelly of the KHMH. “Our compound room (the room where medications are prepared) is now sterile. Before it was only considered 'clean.' Now, we can properly prepare medications using the Chemotherapy Hood, while maintaining sterility. Changes have been made as to how to properly dress using our protective gear. Adjustments were made on the administration of the chemotherapy unit, and on the transportation of medication from the compounding room to the Infusion Room and written protocols have been adjusted and these have been submitted to the management of KHMH for approval.”