Malawi

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Malawi
Malawi was het eerste programma dat World Child Cancer begon te steunen. We werkten samen met de pediatrische oncologie-eenheid van het Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, die een aantal jaren werd geleid door Prof. Elizabeth Molyneux en nu wordt geleid door Dr. George Chagaluka.

1,000 New

cases of childhood cancer expected annually in Malawi

280 Children

diagnosed each year at the hospital in Blantyre

£500

cost of treating a child with Burkitt lymphoma in Malawi

Programma Informatie

Programma
Centrum

Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre

Twinning
Centrum

Prinses Máxima Centrum

Programma
leiders

Dr George Chagaluka

Programma
Mentoren

Dr. Annelies Mavinkurve-Groothuis (Prinses Maxima Centrum)
Dr. Minke Huibers (Prinses Maxima Centrum)

Start Datum

Januari 2009

Background

Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre is the main tertiary care centre providing diagnosis and treatment for children with cancer.

The hospital diagnoses around 30% of the 1,000 expected annual cases in Malawi, mainly comprising Burkitt lymphoma and other relatively easily treatable solid tumours.

The centre provides healthcare free of charge but receives government funding which is insufficient to the needs, so many costs end up falling to families to fund themselves. As one of the poorest countries in the world, this causes huge barriers for families when facing the diagnosis of a child with cancer, and results in many being forced to abandon treatment.

Key Activities

  • Support in the development of adapted treatment protocols and aim for improvements in survival rates of easily treatable malignancies.
  • Capacity building for staff caring for children with cancer through ongoing training and mentoring.
  • Support salaries to ensure a safe number of nurses on the ward.
  • Enable infrastructure and equipment improvements to ensure quality treatment and care .
  • Support diagnosis and treatment costs to increase the accessibility of cancer diagnosis and treatment for more patients.
  • Decrease abandonment of treatment through family support and improved follow-up.
  • Provide welcome packs containing essential items for families new to the ward.
  • Support healthcare professionals to attend international conferences to raise the profile of paediatric oncology developments in Malawi.
  • Hold annual awareness event on international childhood cancer day to increase awareness in the community.

Problems

  • Only 1 doctor trained in paediatric oncology in the country
  • A shortage of trained nursing staff and lack of funding for government nurses
  • Over-stretched facilities, including within other essential paediatric departments such as pathology, surgery, imaging and palliative care
  • Delays in diagnosis often result in children starting treatment too late for a cure to be possible
  • High rate of abandonment due to practical issues associated with a lengthy hospital stay
  • Limited follow-up of patients due to lack of resources
  • Lack of awareness amongst healthcare professionals and in communities around childhood cancer symptoms and potential curability
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