Global Oncology Volunteering: Making an Effective Contribution
As countries scale up to meet the demand for cancer services, some ministries of health have turned to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and high-income country academic medical centers, cancer centers, and medical and nursing schools to provide volunteers to teach students, work with faculty, develop and deliver continuing education programs, and provide clinical teaching and mentoring in hospitals and clinics. Some NGOs also provide volunteers to deliver direct patient care to people with cancer. This article provides an overview of the healthcare challenges in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) likely to be encountered by oncology volunteers and insights about how to be a successful global health volunteer. Perspectives are offered from oncology nurses from high-income countries who have volunteered globally and LMIC healthcare providers who have served as hosts for global volunteers.