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In February 2015, the Aslan Project partnered with Jimma University in southwestern Ethiopia to launch our second pediatric and adolescent cancer program within the country. The program is sited at Jimma University Specialized Hospital (JUSH), a newly constructed, modern university hospital in Jimma that will serve a catchment area of 15 million people.

In accord with our holistic model, our program at JUSH will focus on capacity building, emphasizing the education of pathologists, pathologists, nurses and pharmacists prior to the start of our two-year fellowship program in pediatric hematology/oncology.

Following the global health development model recommended by the US Institute of Medicine and other leaders, we are partnering with two world-class institutions in a low-middle-income country, India, to provide intensive specialty training to the JUSH pathology department, which has never before diagnosed a child or adolescent with cancer. The chair of the department and a technologist participated in a three-month observership with Aslan's Medical Advisory Board member, Dr. Prasanna Kumar, at the PSG Institute of Medical Sciences & Research in Coimbatore; JU’s chief pathology resident also participated in a six-month intensive residency training program in histo- and hemato-pathology at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

This LMIC/LIC collaboration for capacity building follows our innovative training module for JUSH's pediatric oncology nursing team, which was honored with a grant by the Union for International Cancer Control Global Education and Training Initiative, as well as our partnership with Tata Memorial to provide hands-on training to the doctors in our pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship training programs at JUSH and Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa.

Under the supervision of a full-time Clinical Director, Dr. Miguel Bonilla, the program will also introduce principles of research as well as a data collection program and cancer registry, and provide hands-on training in palliative and supportive care for local medical professionals and community health workers.

Since the opening of the pediatric cancer unit at JUSH in August of 2016, the only program providing this type of care in all of southwestern Ethiopia, we have experienced unprecedented positive early response rates to treatment. We look forward to the continued growth of this program under the leadership of our Clinical Director, Dr. Miguel Bonilla.

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