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. - ...
Sep 7, 2016

Hope Abound

Kudzi Before
Kudzi Before

Kidzcan continues to work diligently to ensure that childhood cancer becomes part of the national health agenda through continued engagement with organisations working with children. The economic situation has remained strained and contentious with the local funding base shrinking as many companies struggle to remain in business. Despite the prevailing socio-economic challenges, Kidzcan remains committed to ensuring that children with cancer receive much need cancer services.

Since our last report in June 2016, Kidzcan registered 61 new patients bringing the total number of children registered in 2016 to 252 and total number of children in the database to 2 155.  There has been a significant increase in the demand for cancer services due to early detection and the awareness campaigns Kidzcan held during 2015. The increase in demand for childhood cancer services has put a major strain on the organisations budget, and your continued giving has and will go a long way to ensuring that children with cancer receive all the cancer treatment services they deserve.

In July 2016, the Kidzcan team embarked on an evaluation exercise to follow up on a group of health professionals (nurses and doctors) that were trained in Childhood Cancers management and Psychosocial Support for children with cancer in December 2015. The purpose of the exercise is aimed at measuring the extent to which knowledge from the training is being used and shared to ensure that children with cancer are receiving adequate management and psychosocial support along the continuum of care.  The team has so far travelled to Manicaland, Mashonaland East, and Mashonaland West Provinces and is expected to visit three more provinces before the end of the year.

In August this year Kidzcan lost one of the littles heroes. The little boy stayed 900km away from Harare, and because of the poverty in their family the mother had opted for a paupers’ burial. Due to the role that Kidzcan had played in his life, the organisation felt it was not appropriate to have a child buried almost a thousand kilometres away. A team of three travelled from 11 am and arrived in the village at 1 am. The remaining 30 km was in the bush and there was no road. The whole village heard about Kidzcan and they came to meet the officers and were very grateful.

In our work we usually come across incredible stories of change that inspire us to keep doing what we are doing. One such story is that of Michael and we hope it will inspire you to continue giving:

Michael’s Story

Michael (not his real name) is an Upper 6 student at Shamva High School. In February 2016, Kidzcan Staff visited Shamva District and spoke about childhood cancer. The crowd was shown a lot of pictures and they were told about the different types of cancers in children.  A member of the community who attended the Awareness Campaign remembered a boy from his village who had something similar (a mass growing on his neck) to what they had been shown during the campaign.  Below is his testimony:

                   “It had been four years since I last saw my face. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror because my face was deformed.  I was having a difficult time at school and felt miserable. Everyone looked at me twice and some who dared would ask me what happened. A few others would whisper to each other as they walked away. My books were my only hope and my best friends. I longed for psychological freedom. Little did I know that Kidzcan will be my true friend.”

In April 2016, Kidzcan arranged for Michael to be assessed at Parirenyatwa Hospital, where he underwent a biopsy to determine whether the mass was cancerous or benign. He also had a CT scan done. The biopsy revealed that the mass was benign and thankfully would not need chemotherapy, the mass however had to be removed. Kidzcan, together with other well-wishers facilitated that he have an operation done to remove the growth in May 2016. His story continues:

              “After the operation, I looked at myself in the mirror and screamed! I saw something had not seen in a long time. I saw me. I got my hope restored. Thank you so much Kidzcan and God Bless you…

I have all the confidence that was stolen. I love the mirror and I love what I see. I cannot wait to get back to school and as the Head Boy, address the students.”              

                                                                            

Kudzi
Kudzi
Kudzi, Mum and Kidzcan Officers
Kudzi, Mum and Kidzcan Officers
Jul 20, 2016

Help Children with Cancer travel in less pain!

Since its formalisation in 2009, Kidzcan has registered over 2000 children with cancer and related blood disorders. Zimbabwe has two health centres offering diagnostic and treatment facilities for cancer and each facility covers a 500 km radius. Due to the limited treatment coverage many of these young patients have to travel more than 800km for specialised childhood cancer services.  Owing to the distances that they have to travel and other challenges, less than 20% of children registered with Kidzcan come back for services. Kidzcan, being aware of the challenges provides transport fares for both the children and their parents/caregivers to ensure continued access to clinical care and management of childhood cancer.

Kidzcan provided 83 patients with transport support in the last three months. This support covers travel from home to the hospital especially patients returning for medical reviews and chemotherapy treatment. The lack of skilled manpower and resources in various health institutions necessitates outsourcing of some services such as Diagnostic Imaging. Kidzcan pays for ambulance travel and transfers between hospitals and specialised services such as Diagnostic Imaging. Because most patients are arriving at hospitals with advanced ailments, it makes it difficult to transport patients without medical supervision hence, the use of an ambulance to transport patients between facilities is necessary.

Early this year, Kidzcan lost one of its patients who died on the bus while making a 600km journey home to be with his family. This patient was very ill and was discharged from hospital for palliative care at home. In the absence of suitable transportation the child and his mother were forced to use public transport to make the journey home. It is while making this journey that the child passed on. This not only affected the mother whose child died in her arms, it touched the lives of the passengers on the bus and the driver who witnessed this difficult occurrence.

As Kidzcan, we believe that it is important for critically ill patients to be transported in a dignified and comfortable manner, be it to or from diagnostic testing, transfers between hospitals or as they make their journey home for palliative care. We also believe that the presence of skilled personnel gives the patients and caregivers comfort knowing that there is someone there to assist should the need arise.

Help us raise $64 900 to purchase an ambulance, so far we have raised $100, and we still have a long way to go before we reach our target.

Transporting Children in Kidzcan
Transporting Children in Kidzcan
Happily arrived
Happily arrived

Links:

Jun 9, 2016

Children with cancer fight with greater hope!

With more than 2000 children that have passed through Kidzcan database, more are yet to come because of the Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaigns that Kidzcan holds. The organisation is using every avenue and every platform that it can get hold of, to share the stories and needs of children with cancer in Zimbabwe.

Less than 20% of children registered with Kidzcan come back for services because of many challenges, among them the distance from the One Specialised Hospital and the rest of the country. However, Kidzcan provides transport fares for both the children and their parents/caregivers to ensure access to clinical care and management of children with cancer.

With the stringiest budget and minimal overheads, Kidzcan continues to give to children with cancer the much needed chemotherapy drugs, the supportive drugs, blood and blood supplementing products as well diagnostics. This has been made possible by Kidzcan sponsors and fundraisers, locally and beyond the borders and region.

During the reporting period, Kidzcan took Childhood Cancer Awareness and Advocacy to a higher level in the country. With an opportunity of meeting the Parliamentarians, Kidzcan made a mark by sharing on Childhood Cancer situation in Zimbabwe at a 5 day workshop, which presented the organisation to share evidenced information to part of the policy formers in the country.  

Cumulatively, a total of 150 new patients have been registered since January 2016, and 13 young heroes and heroines lost the fight to cancer during the same period. A total of 414 chemotherapy drugs, 100 blood products, 55 transport fare, 143 diagnostic services were given to children with cancer and 100 Kidzcan has had amazing fundraising raising events during the reporting period raising a total of more than $ 40 000. However, what was more important was that, childhood cancer awareness was raised in the communities that Kidzcan works in and with. As a way of getting feedback from what communities feel about the assistance Kidzcan gives, three stories from a mother, care giver and child were recorded and documented. Two stories are shared as follows:

Story One (Grand Mother)

I am Patrick’s grandmother and we have been here for more than a month. His mother has a 6 months old baby and cannot come here.

We sleep on the benches and I am so afraid of falling because the benches are small and I am a very old woman. Sometimes when the nurses are very busy or far from the ward by midnight, I sleep on the floor, but they don’t want us to, because they say the floors have infection. Patrick is very unwell, but he is a strong young man. He jokes about his ballooned stomach and tells people that he is a business man.

Patrick started vomiting and having a running stomach and his mother and I took him to the clinic and the nurses there said they could not see anything. His mother did not have money to go with him to the hospital and he got worse. We then went to traditional healers and they said they couldn’t see anything. His mother took him to various clinics. Later, the church raised funds for the mother to take him to Kwekwe hospital for a scan but when they got there, they were told that the money was not enough. They came back home, and Patrick was quite sick by them. The mother started doing piece jobs, washing people’s clothes and cleaning their houses. I was babysitting the small baby and looking after Patrick whilst she went for her jobs. She would come home in the evening and very tired because sometimes she cleaned more than 3 homes a day. Some would give her $2, some $3. She was trying to raise the money for the scan. She finally managed to raise $ 130 which was enough for a scan. The scan made it possible for the Tumour to be diagnosed. The doctors from Kwekwe hospital immediately referred Patrick here. I suggested that I would rather come with Patrick than let the mother go through the trauma, and I just realised I was right. She was not going to cope her with the baby in this environment.

Kidzcan is doing a lot, they have paid for all the scans and X-rays and have provided us with medication. They bring medication everyday. They work very well and provide medication though most of the drugs are always out of stock. As is, the drugs are out of stock, today and yesterday, that is 3 of his special drugs. Yet today he is supposed to go for an operation at Harare Hospital but they said today and yesterday there are no drugs. They are the ones that pay for medication, so I am not sure why the drugs are not available. This hospital does not give drugs.

We stay in Silobela, so coming here every 2-3 weeks costs a lot of money. I understand Kidzcan also gives money for busfares, but I haven’t asked. Other parents have stayed longer, therefore, I cannot even complain honestly. Patrick is stronger now, and I hope he will go for an operation soon.

Story Two (child with Cancer)

My name is Wayne and I am 3 years old (mother corrects him, and says that he is 5). I cannot remember when I came here, my head is very sore. I was told I have cancer and I don’t know what cancer is.

I came in with my mother and I get injections and many tablets. The injection is very sore and I am in a lot of pain. The tablets make me vomit. I stay in my bed and Kidzcan brings me dolls and other presents.

I want them to give me another doll, because I have a baby sister and she will want my doll and because she is a baby, I am supposed to give her. I want Kidzcan to keep coming back so they give me another doll.

I don’t like the nights because many children with cancer die at night. I don’t want to sleep, in case I sleep and never woke up. I know what dying is, someone stops breathing and their life goes away.

I know a lot of children with cancer who died. Another one died yesterday and I saw the nurse removing her. I did not sleep after that I was tapping myself so that I don’t fall asleep.

I am tired now, and I want to sleep, but I am not sure if people die during the day. Please woke me up when Kidzcan comes, I want to ask for another doll for my baby sister.

 
   

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