Specialized childhood cancer services in Zimbabwe are centralised, with communities travelling between 100-800 km to access services. The children and their caregivers use public transport sometimes in critical conditions. A child died in the bus to the village in February 2016, a traumatic situation to the mother, the other passengers and the bus driver who had to ferry the little child to the nearest hospital. Kidzcan helps transport very sick children in between health providing facilities.
Children with cancer in Zimbabwe are treated in one specialized hospital with provincial and district hospitals referring all cases of childhood cancer. Families use public transport regardless of the conditions of their children. Many times once discharged the patients do not come back and default treatment. Some families fail to raise the bus fare, hence do not bring their children for treatment. Other discharged patients spend many days in hospital due to lack of appropriate transportation.
The project will purchase a fully equipped ambulance which will help transport the children and their caregivers to and from their nearest health centres. No very sick child will be transported or travel by public transport, and every discharged child from the specialized centre will be discharged via their nearest local hospitals. The fully equipped ambulance will ensure that the children will be transported in the most humane and comfortable conditions, with all the urgency they deserve.
The project will benefit more than 5 000 people, 5 persons per household. It will reduce the pain that the children with cancer endure, the distance that the sick children walk and the days that children and their parents spent travelling and away from their families. The defaulter rate which is caused by challenges in transportation, currently at 40% will be reduced. Children with cancer spend many days away from school as they travel to hospital , hence the ambulance will reduce absenteeism.