Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe

by Kidzcan Children's Cancer Relief
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Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Save the lives of children with cancer in Zimbabwe
Our survivor Laureen and her Aunt
Our survivor Laureen and her Aunt

The month of June world over is cancer survivors month. We celebrate all who survived cancer and those in treatment.

This year we highlight the story of a young girl now a young lady.

Laureen is fourteen years old and  was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblasic leukaemia in 2017 and  immediately commenced on treatment.She comes from a fragmented family background where mum is not in the scene but Fathers sisteror Aunt  played a huge role. They used to travel a thousand kilometers plus on the overnight bus to receive chemotherapy at Parirenyatwa.and immediately after the chemotherapy would travel another thousand kilometers back home.  Issues of discomfort,vomiting and pain were encountered on the way but she persevered keeping up with the appointments.Kidzcan supplied the chemotherapy drugs100% and bus fares during her treatment. To while up time Kidzcan purchased a laptop for Laureen to write down her feelings and thoughts through her journey with cancer. She supprised us this June by having writtewn four journals of her story and journey in the fight against cancer. We now want to assist her to publish them, any help will be greatly appreciated.

What are some of the Mental and emotional Impact of childhood cancer that Laureen went through?

1.Readjusting to home and family life

2. Reenter school and social life (after absence due to hospitalization )

3. Poor body image (loss of hair)

4.Interpersonal relationships were challenged

It is very important to give adequate support during and after treatment.

Congratulations to the young lady for overcoming cancer we wish you all the best now and in future. A special thank you to all GlobalGiving donors, who have supported Kidzcan and believe in the mission and vision, and have enabled Laureen to concour cancer. Please continue to help make a difference to childhood cancer in Zimbabwe by donating to this worthy couse. With your help we can continue to share stories like that of Laureen.

Covid-19 may be with us but please remember cancer does not wait

#no child should be left behind

#through our hands

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The situation with Coronavirus (COVID19) is deeply unsettling and our priority, as we respond to this pandemic, remains with the families we support-most of whom are classified as high risk.

The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted heavily on the children who needed to be receiving chemotherapy. A number of the children with cancer failed to make it on time for their chemotherapy due to travelling restrictions and road blocks and this obviously has impacted heavily on the outcome of the treatment in terms of survival.

Doctors and nurses have not been spared as some were found to be positive and a number of them had to go on self-Isolation, leaving very few staff to manage the patients. All children in stable conditions had to be discharged. Poor quality of care remains cause of concern as observed.

As Key Workers, our Clinical Support Teams are alleviating pressures on the emergency healthcare workers, by giving emergency practical’s, psychosocial and emotional health support 24-hours a day to vulnerable families with a seriously ill child. Unfortunately COVID19 has also affected our fundraising events, which has led to a majority of them being cancelled. We now face the very real concern that we will not be able to financially continue supporting the more than 900 families we currently help: families with children undergoing cancer treatment.

Our Clinical Support Teams - identified as ‘key workers’ in this COVID19 crisis – are part of the national response to rapidly increasing demand, providing critical care and support to children with cancer and their families in this new, frightening reality. We have seen most of our fundraising events cancelled and our revenue declining. We receive no government funding and rely almost entirely on the generosity of the public.

 

  • Acting as a bridge between hospital and home by giving emotional support to parents who have nowhere to turn to.
  • Sourcing and delivering vital medical items and chemotherapy drugs.
  • Remaining a life-line to parents whose children have recently passed away, providing vital emotional support as they face the terrifying prospect that they do not know when or how they can hold a funeral for their child.
  • Kidzcan is part of the WHO and ST Jude Global Initiative to increase the survival rate of the six most common childhood cancers to 60% by the year 2030.
  • Our International Childhood cancer day was a great success with a webinar hosted by WHO reached 47 countries and attended by 500 participants, raising awareness on childhood cancer and the challenges we face in Africa through our hands

 

The work we are doing today is only possible because of your support. Please help us to continue supporting these families. They need us more than ever. Thank you GlobalGiving Friends

  • USD 25 - will fund for our Clinical Support Team to deliver urgent, essential items and medicines to families in self-isolation and hospital.
  • USD 100 - will ensure that we are able to continue our vital care throughout this crisis and beyond.

 Laureen one one of patients from Victoria Falls who has been travelling 1800km every six weeks for the last two years, will soon now be certified cancer free. We will share her story in our next report.

Thank you Golbal Giving for your support.

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Chemotherapy drug procurement for Zimbabwe patients

Due to the current drug shortages in the country worsened by the covid-19 pandemic Kidzcan had to seek special dispensation from the Ministry of Health and Child Care to import chemotherapy drugs for cancer children. This has resulted in the organisation being able to assist all children with cancer and assist sickle cell patients as well.

Kidzcan managed to find a pharmaceutical company in India through links with WHO to supply directly to the organisation, with approval from Medicines control Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Health.

But due to covid-19 pandemic globally our drugs were stuck at Chennai airport in India due to a new regulation restricting the exportation of chemotherapy drugs out of India. The drugs eventually arrived after seeking assistance from the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Embassy of India. We are very grateful to our partnership with Ponalab India who has made it easier for the organisation to provide the clinical services which one Kidzcan’s major mandates.

These drugs are a life line to the all children suffering from cancer and without the support from donors and partners from GlobalGiving who avail grants in USD, Kidzcan would not be able to make these procurements. A big thank you to all our donors during this covid-19 pandemic and continued support.

Kidzcan will continue to advocate and lobby to the Ministry of Health to allocate a small percentage through the fiscus to childhood cancer in Zimbabwe and play their part as government.

Kidzcan major activities 

  1. Kidzcan ensured the availability, accessibility and affordability of childhood cancer clinical services within the public health system. Despite challenges experienced in Zimbabwe’s health delivery system, Kidzcan managed to register 133 new children who were provided with diagnostics, drugs, transport as well as psychosocial support. The new cases and support provided was however lower than last year due to Covid-19 pandemic that affected movement of those who might have wanted to be diagnosed.
  2. Provision of transport services to reduce the default rate of children with cancer and contribute to the reduction of mortality rate in Zimbabwe. Kidzcan comprehensively used mobile services to ensure 272 children with cancer and their parents/guardians always came for their cycles. In addition with the new RBZ regulations on Ecocash transactions this has made it very difficult for Kidzcan to send bus fares to patients on, Kidzcan used its own vehicles for those within the environs of Harare in some cases.
  3. Kidzcan distributed food hampers to 150 children with cancer and their parents/guardians, especially during the lockdown as most families found it difficult to access food.

       4. Provision of psychosocial support to193 children with cancer and their parents was done, together with             the holding of 7 parents support group meetings to enhance treatment outcomes. Social media                         parents groups were also formed for parents to share key information on childhood cancer.

        5.Kidzcan carried out various advocacy programmes, including virtual ones during the lockdown period               as we hoisted the motto that cancer does not wait.     

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COVID_19 Food distribution
COVID_19 Food distribution

Dear Kidzcan Family and Friends,


We hope that this email finds you all well and are adjusting to the new norm by keeping safe as your wellbeing is key to the survival of children suffering from cancer. If there is anything we can do in terms of offering psychosocial support to you and your employees please feel free to reach out to Kidzcan.

 

As the new Coronavirus is spreading around the world and having a dramatic impact on people, communities, and businesses around the world, our number one priority for Kidzcan is the health and safety of our little angels suffering from cancer and, those we assist us around the globe and the communities where we live and work.

We at Kidzcan are also concerned of your wellbeing as one of partners in the fight against cancer in Zimbabwe.

We have taken all possible measures to ensure our patients and staff well-being, including; restricting travel and face-to-face meetings, implementing a global work-from-home policy, and constantly monitoring the situation around the world. We have been assisting with the distribution of food hampers to all our patients in Harare. A whatsapp group has been created for parents to share support, information and give them hope. We are very fortunate that we managed to procure some drugs from India just before the lock down, however many patients are unable to travel to Harare due to the lockdown and travel restrictions.In the last weeks, we have seen in our community thatfollow-up appointments and control scans are postponed. Patients are switched to treatments that are less effective but have fewer side effects.

Some patients on forums do not recognise the need to self-isolate and feel that 'cancer was already enough to worry about' with a high level of anxiety and uncertainty. The rampant levels of incorrect or unhelpful information being spread every day are not making it easier for patients and their families.


I believe that it is on us as cancer patient advocates to act now. Cancer patients trust us because they know we care. We have large networks, numerous relationships and established communication channels within and outside the cancer community. We know how to educate patients. We have experience with healthcare systems, support structures and know how to find our way. We have seen what works in healthcare and what doesn't. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. The fact we are still here means that we believe that change is possible. But by now, we are realists and no longer naive. We have lost the fear to speak up, the fear to be seen that is holding back so many right now, a long time ago. And if there is something we as Kidzcan have understood then it will be that it is futile to wait for others to solve our problems.   


It is on us to make sure that our communities are well-informed and supported. We need cancer patients to understand the need to self-protect. And we need to find ways to educate, support and to keep fake news at bay.

It is on us to push for protective measures for cancer patients to put in place in our country, to ensure patients have sufficient drug supply and to support our oncologists.  

While cancer management will be affected short-term, cancer patients will still suffer when everyone has gone back to normalWe know that rationing in healthcare is real. The harder our societies are hit economically, the more we will struggle in cancer once everyone else has gone back to normal. So we should now support strategies limiting the impact of #COVID19 on our society. We need smart testing/ isolation/ social distancing strategies and effective policies and financial support.

And we should not forget that cancer patients are not the only patient group at particular risk. Other patient groups face similar issues, so it is time to reach out and to collaborate. While cancer is what we know best, that is no excuse not to care about others who face similar problems.


Today, we have a knowledge advantage over many others who are just waking up. We already know that one cannot only rely on 'the system' to solve all problems. So let's use your knowledge and networks, share learning’s and resources to not only keep cancer patients but everyone safe.

 

At the same time, we are not only victims, we are citizens of our country and members of our society, so we all need to do our bit to make sure everyone gets through this. So while we need cancer patients to protect themselves, we also need them to protect their communities, obviously in ways that do not put themselves at risk. Many small businesses do not have the necessary reserves to get through this crisis, so if we all want to go back to our local gyms, bakers, restaurants and hair dressers, we better find ways to support them now. 

Let’s fight COVID19 and let's all get to work. 

TOGETHER ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

 

 

Cancer never stops, doesn’t take a pause and

doesn’t take a stay at home order. My heart goes out to all these families’.

This is such a simple ask to get behind, when multiplied, can really make a difference.

Cancer doesn’t stop.

 And above all: Be SAFE and hope to see you again soon Face to Face.

 Thank you as always for the support to childhood cancers in Zimbabwe.

 Donate now: #cancer does not wait

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Mud run 2020
Mud run 2020

 

KIDZCANS BUS FARE PROGRAMME

Zimbabwe has over the years grappled with various challenges affecting the health delivery system in the country. Apart from challenges in drug availability, accessibility of the same, adequately capacitated health institutions and a motivated work force, there have been further challenges in the provision of transport for patients to present themselves to health facilities in the country. Apart from poor road network that militates against an improved transport system, the fares charged are very high, and that has seen many people failing to access health facilities, which are generally far away from where the majority of the people live.

Kidzcan Zimbabwe’s mandate is to raise awareness on childhood cancers, provide chemotherapy drugs, blood and blood products, psychosocial support, food packs and transport for the child and parent/guardian to enable them to come to the hospital as required. One of the challenges in combating childhood cancers has been the rise in defaulting patients, and often the major reason proffered has been that they did not have bus fare to come to the hospital. Choices have to be made at home on whether to use the little resources available as bus fare for one child needing a cycle of chemo or buying grain for a meal for all the children at a homestead. Usually the child who needs another round of chemo is sacrificed. Apart from this challenge, there are bigger structural issues around the bus fare matter. Cash is unavailable in banks and lately, the small window of using mobile money platforms faces severe challenges.

In order to enhance outcomes, Kidzcan desires to ensure that all the children we serve are able to make the necessary hospital visits as and when they have to. On a monthly basis, Kidzcan pays bus fare for 60 children with various types of cancers across provinces in Zimbabwe, each of whom comes at least once for a procedure at the hospital every month. Going forward the Kidzcan strategy on bus fares is now that all children and their caregivers receive bus fare to enable them to come for treatment, thereby removing the financial burden on parents who are already struggling just to put food on the table.

Part of the funds received from GlobalGiving will now be channelled towards making sure that every child has the opportunity to travel and seek medical cancer treatment. For this we are ever so grateful to all donors who continuously give to Kidzcan to help them fulfil their mandate of increasing the survival rate of children suffering from cancer in Zimbabwe.

Thank you as always.

#nochildshouldbeleftbehind

Mud run 2020 with the BEAST
Mud run 2020 with the BEAST
Mud run 2020, my brothers keeper
Mud run 2020, my brothers keeper
Mud run 2020 , getting muddy for cancer
Mud run 2020 , getting muddy for cancer
Drug purchase for the WARD
Drug purchase for the WARD

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Organization Information

Kidzcan Children's Cancer Relief

Location: Harare - Zimbabwe
Website:
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Project Leader:
Daniel Mckenzie
Harare, Harare Zimbabwe
$108,579 raised of $150,000 goal
 
888 donations
$41,421 to go
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