National Cancer Institute in Sri Lanka

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

SIOP worked with international partners to respond to the needs for children with cancer in the recent crisis in Europe, and we are now faced with a new crisis in Sri Lanka, where healthcare workers, and children and adolescents with cancer are affected by a financial catastrophe enveloping this island-nation of 20 million off the coast of India. A default on $51 billion in foreign debt has led to hyperinflation, food shortages, and a severe shortage of medical supplies (read more here)

We are working with partners from Childhood Cancer International (CCI), World Health Organization (WHO), St Jude Global, and Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) and the National Cancer Grid of India (NCG) in Mumbai India, to determine how we can best provide assistance. St Jude Global is working with the National Cancer Institute in Sri Lanka and the WHO Regional office to develop a package for personnel support, a crisis team for coordination, and support for diagnostics and medications. The priority is to arrange critical drugs and medical supplies without which children with cancer in Sri Lanka face an uncertain future, with their chances of cure in jeopardy.

Dr C S Pramesh, Director of Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, has arranged for medical supplies to reach Sri Lanka through the Indian High Commission in Colombo.
A public appeal for funds was hampered by competing demands, so donations are greatly welcome.

If you wish to help in this way, you can contribute via the Tata Memorial choose “Sri Lanka medical aid” under the dropdown “Donation for” (USD 1 = INR 78, EUR 1 = INR 84) directly here.
By using this route, you can be assured that 100% will be used for medical supplies for Sri Lanka.

At a Governmental level Dr Anver Hamdani was appointed by the Sri Lankan Health Ministry to coordinate all efforts on the ground to keep healthcare services running.
Ms Bindu Nair from CCI is working to ensure disruption to children and families is minimized. Members of SIOP who would like to help personally can reach out to either of them.

SIOP believes that “no child should die of cancer: cure for more, care for all” based on common values, tireless commitment, and dedication towards our patients and their families. We hope this situation will eventually resolve, and in the interim, we are working hard with partners to ensure that children with cancer in Sri Lanka do not suffer.

Thank you.

Prof Kathy Pritchard-Jones, SIOP President
On behalf of the SIOP Board of Directors, our members and community