Jun 7, 2017

Less anxiety and better treatment outcomes

Reverse of Roles
Reverse of Roles

Children understand it better when they are in control of whatever situation they find themselves in. Fighting cancer needs courage and courage comes when children are privy of what is going on around them. To facilitate understanding of hospitalisation, after receiving medical toys, Kidzcan trained nurses on how to orient hospitalized children on their treatment care plan, procedures and process. The main aim was to ensure children with cancer understand the hospital routine in order to motivate their participation in their care. This was premised on the fact that hospitalization, medical examination and healthcare procedures and processes can be difficult for children of all ages. More so, unfamiliar faces, places, fear of the unknown and separation from family members can all increase children’s anxiety level and challenge their ability to cope with hospitalisation. Coupled with differences in cultural background and socio-economic statuses nurses have many other challenges preventing them from dealing effectively with and even getting cooperation from hospital ill children.

 A total number of 30 nurses working in paediatric wards in 3 hospitals were trained in Make-Do-Doctors play. The training included allowing children to role play the doctors and nurses roles and what they understand them to be. It is important to note that children understand far much more than anticipated. Given enough time and in an enabling environment, children cooperate, understand and even participate in their care. They become more jovial and emotionally and socially functional and have increased tolerance to hospitalization and confinement. More so, there is increased understanding, tolerance and cooperation from parents/care givers of children with cancer. Parents/ caregivers are also preview to the information and aid (accessible services) offered by Kidzcan and the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

Kidzcan has been doing a lot in helping children with cancer. Currently, the only NGO focusing on childhood cancer, the following figures show how much need there is, in terms of cancer management and care, progressively over 10 years. It is pleasing to note 17 children are on remission, however, this figure falls far short of what the country ought to achieve. With prioritization and integration of childhood cancer to child health strategies, donor commitment, prioritized health financing, more epidemiology date in Zimbabwe, there will be more positive outcomes and increase in the figure of children on remission. The following statistics show the number of hildren registerd with Kidzcan as well as those that lost the battle to cancer in past years.

            Registered Cumulative Deceased Cumulative         

  • 2006-09           154      154      12        12
  • 2010                219      373      9          21
  • 2011                264      637      41        62
  • 2012                343      980      79        141
  • 2013                372      1352    81        222
  • 2014                256      1608    89        311
  • 2015                273      1881    54        365
  • 2016                402      2283    35        400

 The following statistics show what the past 3 months has been on Kidzcan, Registrations 15; Deceased 2; Drugs given to children with cancer 301, Bloods and Blood Products 34; Laboratory Investigations 17; and Transport 7. Children assisted by Kidzcan currently active in the database have the following types of cancer, Blood Related Cancer/Disorders 29%, Soft Tissue Cancer 3%, Bone Cancer 2%, Retinoblastoma 11%, Wilms Tumour 13%, HIV Related Cancer 10%, Reproductive System Cancer 1%, Central Brain and Nervous System Cancer 10%, Other Cancer 13%and Non Cancer children (7%).

Through the kind donations from many friends that have been collated by Globalgiving, Kidzcan is able to save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe

Rumbi taking nurses through a refresher course
Rumbi taking nurses through a refresher course
All attentive lest they are examined from content
All attentive lest they are examined from content
Children in charge of their own care and treatment
Children in charge of their own care and treatment
Dr Priscilla at work
Dr Priscilla at work
Withdrawing a blood sample
Withdrawing a blood sample
Apr 25, 2017

If Health Care Cannot Come to the Sick Children, Lets Bring the Children to it.

Rumbi giving her patient a thorough medical exam
Rumbi giving her patient a thorough medical exam

Kidzcan with your continued support remain committed to working for the betterment of the lives of children with cancer, their families and caregivers. This is in line with the mission of the organization of increasing the survival rate of children with cancer in a caring and loving environment. Childhood cancer services and management remain centralized at Parirenyatwa Group Hospitals. It should be noted, therefore that the cancer patients and their families travel long distances for services mostly by inappropriate means of transportation such as public transport with no provisions  for the very ill patients. This causes delay in the referrals with patients arriving in advance stages of illnesses.

Despite the harsh economic climate prevailing in the country, Kidzcan’s presence in the wards has been consistent and unwavering. Kidzcan in the quarter under review registered a total of 68 patients who received the following clinical services, bloods 78, Drugs 308, Bone marrow needles 35, Diagnostics 1, 1 wheel chair and clothes to four patients, 4 psychosocial support meetings with individual counseling and 11 transport fares.  Although Kidzcan provided a total of 11 patients with transport fares in the quarter under, review this falls far too short from easing transportation burden on the patients and the conditions associated with their long journey to the only centre that provides hope to the cancer patients and their families (Parirenyatwa).

Within the first quarter of 2017; only 23.5% of children registered by Kidzcan were resident in the capital city and province where the only cancer management institution is located whilst 76.5% were referred from the remaining 9 provinces of the country. On average the other provinces are 500 kilometres away from the centralized cancer services in the country. Worth noting during the quarter under review is that Kidzcan is not only taking care of the vulnerable children in Zimbabwean communities, as evidenced by the fact that the majority of patients from Manicaland province are Mozambican citizens who have been displaced by the civil strife in their own countries and  taken refuge at Tongogara refugee camp in Chipinge.  These patients in difficulties circumstances need our helping hand to access the much centralized cancer services with dignity.

The period under review also saw Kidzcan doing a follow-up on 2016 defaulters. The follow-ups established that 5 patients had lost the battle, 16 patients are now on remission, and 13 transferred either to adult wards or to other institutions out of the country and 19 defaulted as a result of lack of transport fares resulting in them resorting to readily available service providers such as Faith Healers, Traditional Medical Practitioners and herbalist which contributes to poor health outcomes.

Kidzcan provides psychosocial support to hospitalised children which also includes inducting them on what to expect during hospitalisation. There is less anxiety for both the children fighting cancer and their parents/caregivers.

Kidzcan PSS Coordinator During Induction
Kidzcan PSS Coordinator During Induction
Kidzcan Officer having a routine exam from Daniel
Kidzcan Officer having a routine exam from Daniel
Thandekile taking her mom's temperature
Thandekile taking her mom's temperature
Cecilia examining Kidzcan Director's eye
Cecilia examining Kidzcan Director's eye
Bryden School Raising For Children with Cancer
Bryden School Raising For Children with Cancer
Children for Children, raising money for Kidzcan
Children for Children, raising money for Kidzcan
Mar 6, 2017

Resilient and Persistant Fight Against Cancer

Kidzcan Board Chair: Mr Dave Mills seriously muddy
Kidzcan Board Chair: Mr Dave Mills seriously muddy

A resolution was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases to which the Sates and Governments reaffirmed the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The members recognize that the rising prevalence, morbidity and mortality of non-communicable diseases worldwide can be largely prevented and controlled through collective and multi-sectoral action by all Member States and other relevant stakeholders at the local, national, regional and global levels. However, most rights are not attainable and/or are infringed due to lack of availability, lack of affordability and lack of accessibility of services, especially health services, that is, childhood cancer services in particular. The rising prevalence, morbidity and mortality from non-communicable diseases worldwide can be largely prevented and controlled through collective and multi-sectoral action by all Member States and other relevant stakeholders at the local, national, regional and global levels. This can be done by raising the priority accorded to non-communicable diseases in development cooperation and enhancing such cooperation in this regard.

Kidzcan’s activities in the quarter under review contributed immensely to the above affirmations. The organisation closed the year with a severe limitation in its financial resources. This was owed by the fact that the demand for Kidzcan services doubled half way through the year, hence the annual budget was chewed up in 6 months. The last 6 months of the year were literally a hand-to-mouth type of expenditure, with the limited funds reserved for chemotherapy drugs and blood products.

Kidzcan therefore, started the year at a high fundraising note. In many years, Kidzcan has made sure the fundraising activities are double pronged, that is, to raise the much needed resources, and secondly, for raising childhood cancer awareness in the country. Cumulatively, Kidzcan has seen 2260 children registering. Of all registered, 713 are active, 474 deceased, 5 on remission, 1485 lost to follow up, inclusive of non-cancer patients by the end of the year. In 2016, 368 children were registered, which is up by more than 40% from 2015. More positive to note, is the declined of mortality rate from 73 in 2015 to 59 in 2016 (22%). Of the anticipated budget, only 55% was mobilised. Hence the 45% deficit caused a lot of strain for the organisation. However, regardless of the budget cut, Kidzcan managed to carry out its planned activities.

During the month of January, Kidzcan participated and was the sole beneficiary for the mud run. This is one of the major fundraising events towards childhood cancer by Husqvarna and Innovate Gym. A total of $14 000 was raised and this figure made it possible for Kidzcan to buy essential and life serving drugs. A disbursement from GlobalGiving also made sure the blood and blood products for children requiring blood was paid for.

Another fundraing event for Kidzcan, the Orange Week for 2017 was/is a different one. The organisation virtually walked to Ethiopia via 26 countries in a bid to cover 100 000km and raise $100 000. The walk started on the 1st of February with the Deputy Minister of Health Honourable Aldriin Musiiwa giving Kidzcan an amazing send off at a colourful event covered live on TV and attended by friends, parents of children with cancer and partners. Kidzcan invited the entire nation to put on their orange shoe laces, take a walk, and donate their distances and their money towards childhood cancer management.

 Kidzcan virtually arrived in Ethiopia on the 15th of February (and the staff visited the Ethiopian Embassy) with His Excellency Mustafe Dek Abdisalam welcoming Kidzcan to the land of Ethiopia. In total, the Embassy of Kenya, Embassy of Malawi, Embassy of Ghana, Embassy of Botswana, Embassy of Ethiopia, and the Embassy of South Africa were visited.

The walk was meant to be completed on the 28th of February, however Falcon College has/is continuing to walk until teh 6th of April 2018, or until the target is reached. Thus the theme has changed to Keep Walking. Falcon College lost 2 boys to Cancer hence they will put on the shoe laces for the rest of the term and pay a fine of $2 rather than a proposed $1. Many corporates and individuals have bought into the Keep Walking theme, and has vowed to continue walking until the target is raise and/or childhood cancer is given the attention it deserves in the country.

The Honorable Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Aldrin Musiiwa acknowledged the great work being done by Kidzcan in saving the lives of the vulnerable children with cancer in the country. in his appealing remarks, he indicated that “We acknowledge the work Kidzcan has is and will continue to do and we remain hopeful that rich countries and agencies resident in Zimbabwe and beyond will assist Kidzcan help children with cancer access treatment and care.” 

The youngest Advocate
The youngest Advocate
The Will to Save Lives
The Will to Save Lives
The children helping in the fight
The children helping in the fight
Together in the Fight
Together in the Fight

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