This proposal requests support for the second biannual unique Harvard Continuing Medical Education (CME) meeting entitled The Contribution of Anatomic Pathology to the Health of Women and Children, to be held in Abuja, Nigeria November 4 - 7, 2013. The first meeting was held in Ethiopia June of 2011 and was a great success. By holding this, the second conference, in Nigeria we hope to have many attendees from Western African countries, demography less well represented at the Ethiopian Conference. The meetings are designed to highlight the importance of pathology in helping meet the United Nations'(UN) Millennium Developmental Goals (MDG) to reduce maternal and childhood mortality. Estimates of mortality rates in these two categories are severely hampered by insufficient pathologic data/diagnoses limiting the development of effective strategies for success at achieving the UN MDG. These mortality rates are especially untenable in sub-Saharan Africa where the maternal mortality rate is estimated at from 50 to 100 times that of the United States. Although the reasons for the lack of reliable data are many and complicated, getting accurate diagnoses of the causes of deaths could be a valuable tool to design effective policies for improvement. Currently anatomic pathology access and involvement in Africa and its role in procuring accurate data is limited. A major reason for this lack of involvement is the scarcity of trained pathologists in Africa, especially those with the focused education on maternal and neonatal pathology. Mechanisms to optimize pathology involvement include offering focused educational opportunities to improve diagnostic skills and to coordinate efforts, standardize criteria, inspire interest, and stimulate collaboration. One desperately needed effort is to encourage medical students in Africa to pursue pathology specialization. We hope to facilitate these efforts by having these focused meetings in sub-Saharan Africa, and offering scholarships for African pathologists and trainees with financial needs. By having the meeting take place in Africa, we hope to stimulate interest from pathologists in developed countries to interact/collaborate with their colleagues from African countries. We plan to offer generous scholarships (full and partial) to pathologists with financial burdens, especially those in trainin. The course is designed to include lecture based modules on topics related to maternal and children's pathology and workshops for collaboration. We plan to use the workshops to start to develop useful grossing templates, standardization of anatomic diagnoses, and schemas for developing surveillance techniques.

Public Health Relevance

PROJECT NARATIVE This course will provide a focused meeting for pathologists to meet over lectures and workshops on issues relating to the health of women and children, especially as they related to maternal and infant mortality. The course will receive medical education credits, an additional incentive for attendance. Lectures will include those specific to women and children's pathology and will include gynecologic, breast, infectious disease, placental, fetal, and autopsy pathology. This course will have new lectures (as requested from attendees at the 2011 course) on laboratory management. The faculty includes Harvard trained and based academic pathologists and invited respected pathologists from other academic institutions in North America and Africa. Harvard CME courses have a track record of excellence in teaching and satisfaction by the attendees. The 2011 course was very successful in meeting the specific aims of the course, in subsequent publications, and in follow-up interaction amongst attendees. We hope to have a successful course this time and perhaps continue on a biannual schedule.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Conference (R13)
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Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
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Koso-Thomas, Marion
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Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
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