Cancer in adults and severe blood disorders in children are the most common life-threatening non-communicable disorders (NCD) globally. Millions of children live with sickle cell disease (SCD) in Africa or severe thalassemia (ST) in South East Asia.

As more people are lifted from poverty globally the NCD burden is rapidly increasing and new strategies aiming at improving access to locally appropriate tertiary care are direly needed. Nursing competency is a critical component to this objective and information technology has created unprecedented opportunities to scale up capacity building driven by global cooperation.

This project proposal builds on the Nurses No Frontiers (NNF) collaboration with the EBMT Nurses Group with over 30 years of experience, professional knowledge-transfer through on-site and online collaboration with nursing team building as a central pillar. In fact, BMT is the only curative option for both SCD and ST, is highly successful, restores normal health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in most cases and is very cost-effective compared to non-curative long-term supportive care. These programs should achieve self sufficiency and sustainability thanks to local governments take over. The cure of ST by BMT is thus a model of a medically, ethically and financially justified tertiary care procedure which not only saves lives, relieves desperation of many families and financial burden on health care systems but has cascade effects on institutional capacity, higher medical education, research & development. In many low and middle-income countries (LMICs) the limiting factor to health care strengthening is often not financial resources but rather professional know-how. The bulk of this highly qualified workload is carried by nursing personnel and outcomes often depend on the ability to assure that medical prescriptions are carried out correctly and infectious risks minimized.

Vision (What are we building? 5 yrs.)

The aim of this project is to provide support to a collaboration between the NNF and European Blood and Marrow Transplantation Nursing Group for the creation of a permanent task force of experienced BMT nurses which will provide training for the start up of BMT services in LMICs.

Mission (Why does this project exist? “Timeless”)

Facilitate the creation of qualified nursing teams in institutions in LMICs with the appropriate potential and commitment to develop and consolidate BMT centers.

Objective (What will we measure?)

  • Pull together and train a group of at least 10 BMT nursing trainees with the appropriate background and commitment.
  • Develop and consolidate IT tools to aid and monitor core competencies of local nursing staff.
  • Provide nursing training support for the start up of at least 1 new BMT unit per year starting in 2016.
  • Assess and monitor compliance of nursing care with Good Clinical Practices (GCP) in start up and established BMT units.
  • Contribute to eligibility for international accreditation of BMT programs in LMICs.

Strategy (What will make this project successful over time?)

  • Train the trainee courses and updates at least twice yearly.
  • Monthly online meetings relating to patient care and procedures
  • Aim at high standards of care, judicious use of resources, accountability and quality assurance.
  • Engage local institutions and health-providers.
  • Promote research, higher medical education, international partnerships and visibility in peer-reviewed media.
  • Obtain support as much as possible by target local institutions.
  • Mobilize funds by grants and donations internationally.

Plan (What is the work to be done?)

  • Identify passionate team leaders with the appropriate background and commitment.
  • Select suitable medical centers sharing this project’s vision and willing to provide space and human resources.
  • Assess financial implication and feasibility of startup BMT programs.
  • Define operational principles and procedures.
  • Apply for grants