Over a billion people worldwide lack access to quality health services, in large part because of a huge shortage, imbalanced skill mix, and uneven geographical distribution of health workers. WHO estimates that an additional 4.3 million health workers are needed worldwide. INCTR USA focuses on promoting educational training and building capacity for the clinicians, community health workers, health managers, physicians, nurses, and medical institutions.
INCTR USA will collaborate in implementing local healthcare plans and educating local primary care physicians to provide the best, most comprehensive and tailored prevention and treatment plan for each patient by building reusable, online, internet-based ICT solutions. INCTR USA will establish a virtual network of global first responder centers with online trained health workers who can go into the community and support the community needs (conducting health fairs, teaching self-help breast examination for breast cancer, etc.) in public health and healthcare. These health workers can be trained with a six month to one year certification program so they have a better understanding on the public health issues integrated with IT and communication mechanisms to connect within the community.
In May, 2007, INCTR, CTIS, Inc., the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) (USA), and several universities first developed the concept of Open Education Resources for Cancer (OERC). The purpose of OERC is to create and make available to developing countries (at no cost to the user) a central access point for knowledge sharing in education for cancer control, diagnosis, treatment, care, and prevention. Such access would be directed towards the education of medical and nursing students, trainees, physicians, nurses, caregivers, and patients. This repository of educational materials include lectures and videos on cancer training curricula, and clinical and translational research information gathered from contributing partners around the world, including universities, cancer centers, and research institutions. This expanded knowledge base is intended to increase the education capacity for physicians, nurses, and medical institutions who are hard pressed for resources in order to meet the challenges of cancer control and treatment of cancer patients, even in remote sites of the developing world.
OERC provides free access and easy discovery of an online collection of donor-contributed, categorized cancer learning materials (e.g. tutorials, lectures, clinical guides, course curricula, videos, research summaries, etc.). OERC is building an open digital library that allows discovery of cancer educational materials, contributed by the world wide community of clinical and basic cancer professionals.
The OERC Mission Statement
- To create an open resource repository of cancer educational materials covering diverse aspects of oncology.
- To promote global sharing of cancer educational resources (WHO 2007 Cancer Report).
- To utilize knowledge sharing to assist countries develop cancer control strategies.
- To provide educational resources to enhance the capacities of physicians, nurses, and caregivers in developing countries to diagnose and treat cancer patients.
- To provide free access to advances in basic and clinical cancer research information in a user friendly format.
- To contribute to the development of a research infrastructure and a research ethos for cancer care and prevention at a global level.
In this perspective, OERC.MERLOT.ORG was launched in July 2009, via a relationship with Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) of the California State University System.
For Patients and Families
- INCTR USA will work on initiatives such as OERC, which has been developed primarily to provide web-based, open access to high quality information to cancer patients and their families.
- One can expect to find educational material that present facts in an easy-to-understand fashion. Additionally, recommendations for home care, ways to navigate care facilities, options for therapy, and general supportive information will also be available.
- One can join the community to create their own personal collection of online materials regarding patient education on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment with emphasis on palliative care, and symptom management.
- Information provided in OERC reflects the opinions of the authors who develop the materials and opinions of the users of the materials. Patients should always consult with their physicians before making any decisions based on information from OERC.