As we got to the end of the year November and December months were a very busy time for Kidzcan, clinically and stakeholder management wise. November saw Kidzcan handover a new Oncology Ward to Mpilo Hospital. December saw the Executive Director return from St Jude accompanied by the Board Chairman for the first ever Global Alliance Forum, of which Kidzcan is the only partner in Sub-Sahara Africa. This trip would see the setting up of strategies on how to increase the survival rate of children suffering from cancer in Zimbabwe to 60% by the year 2030.
So one of the strategies is to move our current cancer ward to a new location that would new and strict infection control measures, reducing the number of deaths due to infection.
In 2019 Kidzcan intends to undertake an early detection and awareness national campaign
The awareness programme will commence with the training of 200 Health promoters and 100 Nurses, 2 Nurses drawn from each of the 50 clinics in Harare and Chitungwiza towns. This will be a pilot programme to be cascaded to other provinces hopefully in 2019 going forward.
The pilot programme will concentrate on 2 types of cancers that normally affect children in Zimbabwe but which can easily be treated or prevented, namely Wilms Tumour (Kidney Cancer) and Retinoblastoma (Cancer of the eye). Of the 2, Retinoblastoma is more easily recognizable in children, and the Nurses and health Promoters will be trained on how to use simple tools like torches to check the eyes of the children when these children present at clinics for their usual check-ups where the Baby Clinic Card is used. Kidzcan has created a cancer detection card that will then be attached to the baby vaccination card so that every time a mother comes for baby check-ups the child will be screened for the 2 cancers and if need be refer the child for further cancer diagnostics.
Almost every Zimbabwean child has had to visit a clinic at certain specific times until they turn 5, and this campaign intends to advocate for the inclusion of the 2 cancers on the Baby Card so that a Nurse checks for these as they do their usual check-ups. During the training, the signs and symptoms of the 2 will be discussed by various medical experts. We believe as KidzCan that no child should die of these cancers going forward as they can be dealt with if children present early for diagnosis and treatment.
Your help as always is needed in making this a reality. This early detection and awareness campaign will change the way we look at cancer in Zimbabwe. Mothers will now be empowered to demand screening and know of the 2 cancers so as not hide the children and present them when the cancer has advanced. This will now reduce the number of deaths in Zimbabwe and increase our survival rate, which is Kidzcan’s main mission.
2019 Kidzcan turns 10 years. Join us throughout the year as we celebrate this milestone. With your help we can continue to make a difference to childhood cancer in Zimbabwe.
This February is Orange Month, where we urge everyone to dress in Orange and donate to Kidzcan. You can do this as a company, school university or family. Send us your pictures all dressed in Orange. Orange for Kidzcan is a happy colour.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!! #No child should be left behind!