Cancer Nursing in Papua New Guinea: Current Situation and Future Aspirations

Submitted by Pauline Rose RN M(Onc) PhD, Radiation Oncology Nursing Education

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a lower-middle-income country (LMIC) with a population of more than eight million. Radiotherapy had been provided in PNG using a Cobalt60machine, but there has been no radiotherapy service since 2016 (Ward, 2021). Historically there have been, and are, challenges inherent in cancer control and cancer treatment in PNG(Martin, 1990). The new Cancer Centre at POMGEN due in 2023 will house a 15-bed chemotherapy Day Care Suite, and a radiation therapy department consisting of initially one, but eventually two linear accelerators, as well as a Bravos brachytherapy machine. I have been supporting several nurses with training via ZOOM in oncology/radiation oncology. The nurses that I am teaching (via ZOOM) were awarded scholarships to attend ICCN 2022, which has sparked great enthusiasm and a sense of professionalism for these Registered Nurses, and they are keen to set up a cancer nurses’ group at POMGEN. We thank the ISNCC and their leadership for the scholarships.