We partner with the Yangon Children's Hospital in Myanmar to help them to diagnose and treat childhood cancer more effectively, by training local staff through partnerships with international hospitals and specialists. This project also helps the families of these children with cancer to pay for treatment and make the hospital more accessible to the many families who travel extreme distances from rural Myanmar to reach the hospital for treatment. The project helps around 270 children a year.
Childhood cancer has cure rates in the developed world as high as 80%, but in developing countries as low as 10%. As many as 71% of children in Myanmar may never be diagnosed. A lack of trained health workers results in a low number of cases being recognised or referred to a hospital. The children that are diagnosed often abandon their treatment due to the unaffordable costs and lack of support available. Many families cannot afford the treatment or are forced into extreme poverty to pay for it.
We facilitate a partnership between Yangon Children's Hospital and hospitals in the UK and US, providing training and mentoring for healthcare professionals in Myanmar to improve treatment and diagnosis. We provide funding to help with the cost of treatment for families with children with cancer to reduce the abandonment of treatment, as well as subsidising nutrition and transport costs. We also invest in essential infrastructure and ward staff to ensure that quality care is available.
The project aims to increase access to treatment and improve the quality of care available for patients and families in Myanmar. Currently, we're only reaching 270 of the estimated 3000 expected cases per year. The focus will continue to be on diagnosing and curing treatable childhood cancers, while also providing cost assistance to families. We also aim to improve the quality of life for patients, through our hospital school, nutrition project, and the provision of a social worker on the ward.