We treat children with cancer in the Philippines at five hospitals on the island of Mindanao. When treatment isn't possible, we provide effective pain relief. We do this by training and mentoring local staff though partnerships with our network of international hospitals and volunteer specialists. The partnership creates a two-way transfer of skills and knowledge to develop locally appropriate, affordable, and sustainable solutions to the problem of childhood cancer in the Philippines.
Over 1,100 cases of childhood cancer are expected annually in Mindanao, a culturally rich, but economically disadvantaged island in the Philippines. Less than 20% of all children with cancer on the island Mindanao are diagnosed and for those who are diagnosed, survival rates are significantly lower than in developed countries. Low survival rates are the result of late diagnosis, a lack of trained healthcare professionals, unaffordable cost of drugs, and high rates of abandonment of treatment.
Local doctors are trained through bi-annual on-site workshops and telemedicine support at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and 4 satellite hospitals. The project is in its 5th year, now reaching 250 children per year, and has already increased 1-year survival rates for the most common diagnosed cancers to 60%. Parent support groups, psychosocial support for patients and families, data collection, and early detection and public education campaigns are also key project activities.
The project aims to increase access to treatment and to improve long-term, 5-year cancer-free survival rates across Mindanao. We're only reaching 250 of the estimated 1,100 expected cases. The focus will continue to be on curing easily treatable childhood cancers, while also providing pain relief for children who can't be treated. In the next 2 years, a 5th satellite center will be opened in Butuan City to help more children. Local fundraising and sustainability planning will continue.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Video about World Child Cancer USA