Cancer care is increasingly complicated worldwide by its management with concurrent acute and chronic illness states. In low- and middle-income countries, including those in sub-Saharan Africa, this results in lower overall survival rates and a higher burden of cancer deaths. A case study is presented to highlight the challenges patients with cancer in Zambia—many of whom are also positive for HIV or AIDS—face in relationship to access to care and comanagement of disease states.
AT A GLANCE
- Oncology nurses in sub-Saharan Africa face unique challenges, particularly because of the number of potentially life-threatening diseases common in this region.
- The high prevalence of HIV, high burden of cervical cancer, psychosocial challenges, and financial constraints of patients affect their management.
- The small number of oncology and palliative care specialized nurses poses an additional challenge to meeting the complex needs of patients with cancer in Zambia.