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Cohort studies usually last several years given that they involve follo-up of patients over along period of time e.g cancer studies. In the west, the cancer registries are well developed thus allowing health providers ability to manage the conditions in a better way. Locally (in the south), registries are either non existent or poorly developed and managed. What examples (registries) exist that people can learn from given that statistics indicate that cancer cases as well as other lifestyle diseases are on the rise with the biggest problem being late diagnosis or mis-diagnosis and mismanagement. Ray.
as you point out, the registries system is not really well developed especially in Africa. Nonetheless there are efforts towards this direction. one example is the Nairobi Cancer Registry which is an effort of some hospitals and consultants around the city. even so, these do capture only a fraction of the cancer cases due to constraits in the referal system and of course distance between the far off areas and the city.
it is a high time, efforts are geared towards having a proper registry. else, cancers may soon become the new tropical diseases, if the epidemiology is not known and efforts at control not instituted. good topic.