Kidzcan Children's Cancer Relief

KidzCan Vision: A compassionate world where children with cancer are given the chance to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Kidzcan Mission: KidzCan is dedicated to increasing the survival rate and ensuring the utmost quality of life of children with cancer in a loving and caring environment. Strategic Objectives: - Increasing the survival rate and ensuring the utmost quality of life of children with cancer in a loving and caring environment - To ensure continuous and secure funding for paediatric cancer clinical care and support services. - To ensure integrated programmes and processes that foster availability, accessibility and affordability of paediatric cancer services in Zimbabwe. - ...
Jan 19, 2017

Cancer Services Inaccessible for Many Children

Tanya needs help to keep her skin moist
Tanya needs help to keep her skin moist

Childhood cancer services are not available within the Public Health System, in all levels of the system. Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals has been the only hospital with a dedicated childhood cancer ward. However, the hospital is not able to provide chemotherapy and other supportive drugs, diagnostic imaging is outsourced as well as laboratory investigations. With assistance from Kidzcan the children have been accessing outsourced services. Though the prizes from the private sectors are exceptionally high and limiting in terms of the number of children that can be assisted at any given time.  

During 2016, a total of 368 children were registered with Kidzcan, which totals to 712 children active in Kidzcan register, compared to 373 registered and active in 2015. The following children were registered from all the 10 provinces in the county, Bulawayo 29, Harare 108, Manicaland 35, Mashonaland Central 20, Mashonaland East 39, Mashonaland West 45, Masvingo 32, Matabeleland North 8, Matabeleland South 10, and Midlands 42. Only 29.35% of children come from Harare and 70.65% are from the rest of the country, with distances raging from 60kms to above 800 one way.

In between services, children need transportation and sometimes they get an ambulance which costs $15 per child, an amount that is not affordable by many. There are some that are quite sick and the mothers have to carry the children on their backs regardless of age. One of the mothers who has a 9 year old son with brain tumour has been carrying him around from one service to the other.

        I have been carrying Mandisi on my back for more than a year. He has a brain tumor and is unable to walk or even stand. He has been in the hospital for more than 4 months and is waiting for radiotherapy. The machine is not working these days and we are still waiting.

The Radiotherapy Department is a bit out of the main hospital and walking with him on my back is such a challenge. He is 9 years now and very heavy.

The hospital has no transport to carry us around, I am sure they are reserving the ambulance for other serious cases.

The wheel chair will be ideal, however, his back is very weak and he cannot sit up straight. I will need someone to hold his head which keeps falling back.

       Mandisi is not the only case, there are many such cases and mothers have to carry their children ranging from very small ones to the almost 10 years old.       

In total Kidzcan assisted children with cancer with the following services, Drugs 1658, Bloods 270, Laboratory 92, Diagnostics 194, and Transport 388. The organisation continues to advocate and demand government commitment to management of childhood cancer. During the Childhood cancer commemoration, children came with the hope of hearing better commitment and fruitful promises, however, the challenges with the public health sector affect service provision. Childhood cancer has not received the consideration it deserves and there are very few partners funding it. Rich counties and agenceies of rich countries resident and/or representing ttheir countries have also not taken keen interests in assisting the government in childhood cancer management. The Political Declaration on NCDs, the WHO GAP and GMF on NCDs and the World Cancer Declaration signals international consensus around the importance of NCDs across the life course, however, the unavailability of aid towards cancer management and treatment negates the purpose of the agenda.

Kidzcan desires

  • To ensure access to affordable cancer management services for Children with cancer reflected in increased allocation of resources towards cancer services provision in the national budget.
  • To see Communities changing in their Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice and Behaviour (KAPB), and ultimately increased concern regarding cancer as well as cancer causing habits and agents.
  • To see Rich Countries and agencies of Rich Countries helping Zimbabwe as a Low Income Country, help children with cancer access treatment and care.

 There will be more positives if all disciplines take their keen roles.

Dec 6, 2016

Children with cancer not only survive, but conquer

Michelle is a conqueror
Michelle is a conqueror

Children have the right to good quality health care, to clean water, nutritious food, and a clean environment, so that they will stay healthy (Rich countries should help poorer countries achieve this). These rights are listed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Right to Health is enshrined in the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) (1946).

 However, the rights of some children are compromised because they die at home and in pain, they spend many days/months in hospital and lose on schooling, they do not get medication either because the medication is not available, affordable, accessible, or they die without a proper diagnosis and/or treatment.

 Children with cancer in Zimbabwe have stood in solidarity with each other in order to bring their plight to the attention of the policy makers, development agencies, decision makers and concerned citizens. Kudzi and Michelle were one of the speakers during the Childhood Cancer International commemoration held on the 29th of September 2016. Kudzi who once contemplated suicide was pleased to see the new self after a successful operation. Michelle also refused to be called a cancer survivor and declared that she is a cancer conquered. She also said even though she had one leg amputated, she is not disabled because ability is not measured by the physically completeness of a human beings. Michelle questioned the citizens of Zimbabwe, the donors, sponsors and Development Agencies in Zimbabwe, if they were comfortable with the current scenario whereby, there were many cancer graves, than cancer success stories in the country.

 Therefore, as Kidzcan our desire is to ensure access to affordable cancer management services for Children with cancer reflected in increased allocation of resources towards cancer services provision in the national budget; to see Communities changing in their Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice and Behaviour, and ultimately increased concern regarding cancer as well as cancer causing habits and agents; as well as see Rich Countries and agencies of Rich Countries helping Zimbabwe as a Low Income Country, help children with cancer access treatment and care.

 In view of need for cancer services, Kidzcan registered 77 children in total, 30 patients in September, 25 in October and 22 in November. These comprised of 32 females and 45 males. Segregated by diagnosis, the children with blood disorders constituted significantly to those patients registered in the period under review with 31%, followed by other cancers with 19%, those with unconfirmed diagnosis with 12%, Wilms’s Tumour 9%, Retinoblastoma7%,  Rhabdomyosarcoma 6%, neuroblastoma 5% Brain Tumour and Kaposi Sarcoma at 4%.

 The children came from all over the country to the centralized services in Harare. Segregated by geographic area, Harare province recorded the highest number of patients with a total of 16 patients due to the proximity to the services. This was followed by Bulawayo with 10 (who have to travel 880 kilometers return), Manicaland (almost 600km return), Midlands (400 km radius) and Masvingo (around 800 km away)  at 9, Mashonaland West (around 200kn) and East (200km) at 7, Mashonaland Central 6 whilst Matabeleland South and North contributed the least with 2 each (close 1900 km return for each). During the period under review 12 cadres lost the battle to cancer, 9 patients lost their lives in September and 3 in November.  This number is high and, if detected early, cancer can be treated in children. Hence, teh children's lives can be spared.

Tanya came to stand in solidarity with others
Tanya came to stand in solidarity with others
Little by little, we stand together
Little by little, we stand together
A new me, the mass is gone!
A new me, the mass is gone!
She may not have seen, but she knew!
She may not have seen, but she knew!
Health is a right, and entitlement
Health is a right, and entitlement
Light up Hope for the Children with Cancer
Light up Hope for the Children with Cancer

Links:

Oct 18, 2016

The Distance Between Need and Access Determines Outcome

Kidzcan Officers waiting to collect Nothando
Kidzcan Officers waiting to collect Nothando

The distance between services for children with cancer determines a lot of things, among them, the treatment outcomes. Many children with cancer arrive at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals from all over the country at advanced stages of illnesses, and treatment outcomes are usually poor. Some of the children never make it to services due to the distance and lack of transport fares to access childhood cancer services. Kidzcan has been providing money for bus fares for children with cancer and their parents/caregivers for many years.

However in 2016, especially the past three months, cash availability has been so much of a challenges hence many children missed their reviews and their treatment. During the period under review, Kidzcan provided 73 children with transport fares from all parts of the county to access cancer services which for many reasons, are still centralised. Kidzcan also registered a total of 124 patients; of these 61% were males whilst 39% were females. These patients were registered from all the ten provinces with Harare province having the highest number of new registrations. Harare had a total of 29 patients followed by Mashonaland West with 18; Masvingo 14; Midlands  and Mashonaland Central with 12 each; Mashonaland East 11; Matabeleland South and Manicaland with 8 each; Bulawayo 7 and Matabeleland North recorded a total of 5.  The 23.39% new registrations from Harare province, is owed to the competitive advantage of the proximity to services hence the positive health seeking behaviour.

 When the children arrive in Harare, Kidzcan continues to pay $15 per patient everytime they require specialised services which are being outsourced for various reasons. This is owed to the fact that Kidzcan does not have an ambulance or safe transport to ferry children in between different services provides. The challenges that children face in view of transportation cannot be imagined. An 11th month old little girl was transferred to Harare (from Matabelaland North). She had an advanced cancer (rhabdomyosarcoma). The mother took about 3 days to arrive at Parirenyatwa hospital. Unfortunately the child died after a week of hospitalisation. Due to the level of lack the 23 year old mother opted for a pauper's burial for her little girl. 

 I came from Dandanda (872km from Harare), and I have no relatives here in Harare. We have 2 more children aged 6 and 2 years, and I have no means of transporting the body of my baby home. My husband is 26 years and does not work. We don’t have a cell phone, I cannot even notify them of the outcomes of the disease process. If possible, may I leave the body so that she can be buried by the government. I will tell them (in-laws) of the outcomes when I get home.

Kidzcan offered to carry the body to Dandanda and it took the officers about 15 hours (arriving at 2 am) to get there. The team got lost 3 times and once were rescued by the police that patrolled the road. The mother could not remember the way home, in fact she did not know the way home because she had never seen the way during the day since she was born. The bus that they board leaves the village at 2 am to Bulawayo every morning and arrives back from Bulawayo at 10 pm, hence, travelling at night made it impossible for the young mother to remember or know how the area looked like during the day.

Kidzcan Officers in the Village
Kidzcan Officers in the Village
 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $20
    (USD)
    give
  • $40
    (USD)
    give
  • $60
    (USD)
    give
  • $100
    (USD)
    give
  • $200
    (USD)
    give
  • $20
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $40
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $60
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $100
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $200
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.