Fields of work Other
UK Partner Velindre NHS Trust
Developing Country Partner Ministry of Health and Sanitation
Contact Dr Richard Adams Velindre Cancer Centre Velindre Rd Cardiff CF14 2TL Tel: 02920196127

The key aims of establishing a cancer care link between Velindre NHS    Trust and cancer care workers in Sierra Leone:

  • To assess the current provision for cancer care within Sierra Leone in the context of: Prevention, Treatment, Palliation
  • To establish useful and practical links to individuals and health care organizations within Sierra Leone (SL) that might benefit from a link between Velindre NHS trust, Cardiff University and cancer care in SL.
  • To identify key areas for partnership between Sierra Leone and Velindre NHS trust that might be developed.
  • To assess the availability of postgraduate training in obstetrics & gynaecology and oncology.
  • To support research activities in cancer and palliative care in Sierra Leone
  • To support the personal and professional development of those working for or associated with Velindre NHS trust, through this link.

The first visit of the Velindre Team to Sierra Leone was funded by a grant from ‘Wales for Africa Health Links Fund’ with the aim of exploring the benefits of a cancer care link between Velindre NHS Trust and cancer care workers in Sierra Leone. This visit occurred in January 2010. The establishment of the cancer care link between Velindre NHS Trust is the first cancer health care link between Wales and an African country.

Additional information

(a) Cancer poses a global problem, accounting for 12.5 % of all deaths worldwide in 2005; by 2020, new cases of cancer are projected to reach 15 million annually, 70% of which will be in developing countries, including over one million in the African Region1.  Whilst available studies and cancer incidence and mortality estimates in Africa are largely insufficient, African cancer registries suggest a rising cancer incidence due to infectious diseases, tobacco, polution and unhealthy diet.  Cancers in Africa  mostly occur in the economically productive age groups with major implications for communities and families, particularly the children.

(b) The most common cancers in Africa are cancers of the cervix, breast, liver and prostate as well as Kaposi’s Sarcoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma2.  The precise cancer profile for Sierra Leone is not known as there is currently no cancer registry and no published accounts for cancer incidence and mortality2.  However, the published cancer profile from the Conakry cancer registry3 in an adjacent country, Guinea, suggests the highest incidence of cervical cancer in Africa, (see table 1 below).  In West African countries, Senegal, The Gambia, Mali, Niger and Nigeria cervical cancer is the most common female cancer followed by breast cancer and in males the most common malignancy is hepatoma with Burkitt’s lymphoma the predominate malignancy in children. 2

(c) Current evidence would support the potential for prevention of approximately 40% female cancers with HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer and hepatitis B vaccination with the potential to prevent hepatoma in males.  For other cancer there is the potential for potentially affordable treatment eg mastectomy and tamoxifen in breast cancer and cyclophosphamide based chemotherapy, which can be curative in 60% of childhood Burkitt’s lymphoma.  For all cancers there is the potential for palliation eg pain control with morphine.

1 WHO, Preventing chronic diseases: a vital investment, Geneva,World Health Organisation 2005.
2  Cancer in Africa-Epidemiology and Prevention IARC Scientific Publications No.153 IARC Press 2003
3 Koulibaly M et al. (1997) Cancer incidence in Conakry: first results from the Cancer Registry 1992-1995.Int.J Cancer, 70,39-45.

Contact Details

Dr Richard Adams
Velindre Cancer Centre
Velindre Rd
CF14 2TL

Tel: 02920196127







Dr Taqi Taqi
Director of Non-communicable diseases research and postgraduate training

Ministry of Health and Sanitation
4th Floor Yougi Building
Sierra Leone


Additional Information

Dr Malcolm Adams
Velindre Cancer Centre
Velindre Rd
CF14 2TL