Undeterred by the Pandemic, ASCP and BVGH Continue Work to Enhance Pathology in Cote d’Ivoire

Jul 8, 2021, 11:46 AM by Susan Montgomery

As the global pandemic continues, ASCP and BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) remain steadfast in their mission to improve the quality of pathology and laboratory medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa. This spring, the two organizations donated 19 anatomic pathology textbooks to the West African College of Physicians to help train pathologists in Cote d’Ivoire. The college has medical students from Guinea, Benin, Togo, Burundi and other countries in the region.


The request for books was made by Professor Mohenou Isodore Jean-Marie Diomande, chairman of the Faculty of Laboratory Medicine at the West African College of Physicians, as well as head of pathology lab at the University Hospital of Cocody and president of the Ivorian Society of Pathology.


“We are deeply grateful to ASCP for assisting us in taking a qualitative step in achieving our ambition to train competent pathologists to serve our population,” said Dr. Diomande, also director of the post-graduate specialization program in anatomic pathology in Côte d'Ivoire.


“This shipment addressed a gap in the training materials that Prof. Diomande had available to run this training program in pathology,” said Jennifer Dent, President & CEO at BIO Ventures for Global Health. “These textbooks are very recent editions and cover a range of specialties, from pediatric pathology and pituitary gland tumors to pulmonary pathology and placental and gestational pathology.”


As part of ASCP’s assessment – gap analysis – implementation – execution approach to global health collaborations, the need for direct and supplemental educational resources for trainees and junior faculty in pathology have come up with many sites. Prior to the current fulfillment for Cote D’Ivoire, ASCP had provided more than 500 textbooks to more than 10 countries.


For the past three years, ASCP has collaborated with Seattle-based BIO Ventures for Global Health—through the African Access Initiative—to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Africa. Driven by Africa – for Africa – AAI engages stakeholders across sectors to accelerate access to cancer treatment. Using data generated at the country-level by African hospitals and governments, AAI is expanding access to cancer medicines and technologies, strengthening healthcare infrastructure, and building clinical oncology and R&D capacity in Africa. In addition to Cote D’Ivoire, BVGH was able to provide complete current sets of WHO tumor classifications manuals to two other countries, Cameroon and Senegal, through this same project.


“This collaboration combines the strengths of ASCP, the world’s largest professional membership organization for pathologists and laboratory professionals with BVGH, a results-oriented nonprofit organization that is dedicated to solving global health issues by forming connections between people, resources, and ideas,” said ASCP Chief Medical Officer Dan A. Milner, Jr., MD, MSc(Epi), MBA,  FASCP.


“By increasing access to cancer therapeutics and empowering local oncology professionals with the cancer care resources and capabilities available in the United States, we are bringing the critical resources needed to fight the cancer crisis facing the African continent,” he added.