The component 1 of the project HepWek was delevoped at the MoI Teaching and Referral Hospital and in 3 different counties in Kenya, over the last 3 months, through workshops titled "Capacity building of health professionals through awareness raising and training to acquire clinical skills for early diagnosis of chronic liver disease and HCC".
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of primary liver cancer and ranks 3rd worldwide in terms of mortality. The paramount objective of the project HepWek is to improve diagnostic and therapeutic offers for chronic liver diseases in Western Kenya in order to improve the well-being and health of the population.
In order to do so, on August 24, 2022, a workshop titled "Training and Curriculum Development Workshop" was held in Eldoret, Kenya, for the project investigators to review the materials that will be used to train professional healthcare workers in early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
The last three months of the year 2022, the project HepWek developed this training to healthcare workers through workshops titled "Capacity building of health professionals through awareness raising and training to acquire clinical skills for early diagnosis of chronic liver disease and HCC". A Training manual and Trainee booklet was produced on the previous workshop and has been used in training healthcare professionals, as well as a simple brochure used by the trainees in educating patients, their relatives and the public. In each workshop session, group work has also been conducted, discussing relevant real life cases. Participants' evaluations were done through a pre and post -test assessment. Course evaluations were also performed.
- MoI Training and Referral Hospital (MTRH): this training, which was held in Eldoret town, was in 2 sessions to allow for continuity of service at the hospital. It involved clinical officers who are the first healthcare professional to come in contact with participants.
- Elgeyo Marakwet County: 27th and 28th October 2022. This was held in Iten town, on the edge of the Rift Valley.
- Uasin Gishu County: 29th and 30th November 2022. This was held in Eldoret town.
- Baringo County: 8th and 9th December 2022. This was done in Kabarnet.
In total 106 healthcare professionals were trained.
The two other components of the project HepWek were also fulfilled in 2022:
The objective for this component is Transfer of liver surgery technology from Peru to Kenya. This aspect deals with enhancing skills of surgeons at MTRH to perform resection of liver masses. To this end, 2 surgeons, Dr. Andrew Wandera and Dr. Aida Kenseko, spent one month in Peru at the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplásicas (INEN), where they had an opportunity to work and perform surgery with the Peru surgeons. From their reports, their experience is invaluable, and the project HepWek looks forward to them performing liver resections at MTRH as we identify patients suitable for surgery. While they were there, they procured one of the equipment required for surgery being supported by the project.
This component addresses objective 3: Establishment of new laboratory activities to improve epidemiological surveillance and diagnostic capabilities of chronic liver diseases at MTRH. To this end one laboratory technologist/engineer, Millicent is currently at the Institut Pasteur, France, for a period of 6 weeks, learning on molecular diagnostics for liver disease. Millicent has been in Paris since 5th November, 2022. A second technologist will undergo similar training during year 2 of the project.
The project HepWek has also started enrolling participants for evaluation, starting with MTRH. This is done in one sitting to minimize inconvenience to the participants. Data collection form is completed, blood drawn for analysis, then ultrasonography is done before the patient is thanked and released. An ultrasound machine with elastography was purchased though the project and donated to MTRH, who will take possession on completion of the project.