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26 Jul 2021
  • VCCC Alliance

Monday Lunch Livestream featuring Professor Desmond Yip, Canberra Hospital and ANU

Global Oncology: Establishing an Oncology Unit in the Solomon Islands

Professor Desmond Yip, Clinical Director, Department of Medical Oncology at The Canberra Hospital recently published a call to action in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology. The report made recommendations for the role Australia and New Zealand can play to improve oncology services in the Asia- Pacific region. In this presentation, he will be joined by Dr Andrew Soma who is on the ground helping to establish Solomon Island's first oncology unit.

The Solomon Islands commissioned the National Referral Hospital Medical Oncology Unit in Honiara in September 2018. This presentation will outline the work of Professor Desmond Yip and a team from The Canberra Hospital in scoping cancer services, providing initial equipment, mentoring, training and upskilling medical, nursing and pharmacy staff to support and develop this unit to provide cancer care to the people of this island nation.

Dr Andrew Soma is on the ground at the National Referral Hospital helping to establish Solomon Island's first oncology unit.


Professor Desmond Yip 

Professor Desmond Yip is the Clinical Director of Medical Oncology at Canberra Hospital, Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) Medical School, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. He is a full-time practicing medical oncologist with his main clinical and research interests being in the area of gastrointestinal oncology and developmental therapeutics of cancer drugs. He also has subspecialty interests in renal cell carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

Professor Yip has worked in collaboration with the John James Foundation, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)/ Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Pacific Islands Program and Doctors Assisting in South-Pacific Islands (DAISI) to help develop cancer services in the Solomon Islands through in-country multidisciplinary missions, mentoring, supply of equipment and facilitating staff training visits to Canberra.

Dr Andrew Soma

After graduating from Papua New Guinea and completing his residency, Dr Soma was posted to Gizo Hospital, the main referral hospital for the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. He is presently Oncology Registrar, National Referral Hospital, Honiara and a VCCC Master of Cancer Sciences student.

Monday 26 July