Schering Plough Lecture 2009: The twinning experience: Meaning of an educational program for nurses in Kenya

Sherrol Palmer-Wickham, Kathy Beattie, Angela Boudreau, Margaret Fitch


The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) has, as part of its mission, the goal of fostering the growth of oncology nursing in parts of the world where cancer nursing is not perceived as a specialty. The idea of “twinning” high-resource countries with middle/low-resource countries was proposed, as a potential strategy to the ISNCC Board for achieving this goal. The Odette Cancer Centre Nursing Division from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre stepped forward and indicated it would be a “test case” for this new twinning or partnership program. Based on several conversations between M. Fitch when she was President of ISNCC and D. Makumi, Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, an agreement was reached to work together. A proposal was then developed for submission to the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) to hold an oncology nursing workshop on chemotherapy administration in Nairobi. This was a first step in our twinning experience. This article describes the experiences of the four nurses from Odette Cancer Centre (who prepared and offered the program) and the nurses in Kenya (who helped to plan and participated in the program) in working collaboratively as “twins.”

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