Early detection and pain management in sub-Saharan Africa
May 31, 2023
Early detection and pain management in sub-Saharan Africa

From May 7-14, 2023, Inspire2Live presented multi-cancer early detection (MCED) and effective pain management solutions to various instances in Kenya and Tanzania. 6 of our patient advocates, namely Ilona Schelle, Dr. Arthur Ajwang, Franklin Mtei, Dr. Mao Mao, Peter Kapitein and Dr. Rob Tenbrinck, introduced these topics during visits to the Nairobi Hospice and the Ministry of Health’s National Cancer Programme, the Kenya Medical Association Annual Congress in Mombasa and at a symposium for these two topics at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam.

It is Inspire2Live’s vision to detect cancer in its earliest stage when a cure is often still possible at a relatively low cost. If a cure is no longer possible, then we need to be able to provide good quality of life for the time that the patient has left. This would prevent the two biggest tragedies of cancer in Africa i) that diagnosis occurs too late when the tumour has already progressed too far and ii) that there is no effective pain treatment available for advanced stage cancer. We can solve this now!

The SeekIn approach and product have been developed to detect cancer in its primary stage. Dr. Mao Mao worked on an approach that is effective, safe and affordable especially for low- and middle-income countries.

The pain management offering is also based on an effective, safe and affordable medicine, Lidocaine. Our pain management specialist Dr. Rob Tenbrinck has lots of experience with this medicine and gets all of his patients off opiates. Opiates take away the pain but also decrease quality of life whereas Lidocaine takes away the pain whilst keeping the mind clear. This means that patients experience good quality of life for the time they have left with their loved ones. This is a paradigm shift!

The enthusiasm for our vision, approach and products was enormous and we were asked to set up an initiative in both countries. Being the patient’s voice in cancer is a key part of our Inspire2Live mission however we often forget the patients in low- and middle-income countries and, during our recent trip, we experienced for ourselves that cancer is not high enough on the agenda in Africa. Inspire2Live is more motivated than ever to change this and provide the patients in these countries with the diagnosis and treatments they need.

Read more about our Pain Management project >> and our Early Detection project >>

Peter Kapitein
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live