Although Nigeria has recently introduced national health insurance, it unfortunately has not had a positive impact on the plight of children and their parents with Burkitt lymphoma because it does not cover cancer treatment. In the past year, at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex in Ile-Ife, we have treated many patients with Burkitt lymphoma thanks to the generous donations made to Global Giving for the INCTR project for the treatment of this cancer. The parents and children deeply appreciate the kindness and generosity of the donors because without this support, the majority of the families could not have afforded the costs of the treatment for this highly curable cancer.
The donations have had other positive impacts on the overall care of the children. An example is that we have been very successful in being able to monitor children after they have been discharged from the hospital so that we have excellent follow up on our patients. At times, parents, due to pressures to care for other children at home and to work to support their families, sometimes cannot ensure that their child can complete planned treatment. But, with funding, we are able to make home visits and verify that these children are indeed well. A good example of how we have been able to follow such children is the case of young OW, a 4 year old boy who came to us in April this year. He had bilateral jaw masses and his disease went away. After completing three cycles of treatment, his parents could not bring him back to the hospital for treatment. But, he is doing very well and is constantly monitored to ensure that his health remains good and that he shows no signs of return of his disease.
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