In September 2018 WHO announced a new effort – the WHO Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer – with the aim of reaching at least a 60% survival rate for children with cancer by 2030, thereby saving an additional one million lives. This new target represents a doubling of the global cure rate for children with cancer. The aims of the Initiative are two-fold: to increase prioritization of childhood cancer through awareness raising at global and national levels and to expand the capacity of countries to deliver best practice in childhood cancer care. Concretely, WHO will support governments to assess current capacities in cancer diagnosis and treatment including the availability of medicines and technologies; set and cost priority cancer diagnosis and treatment programs; and integrate childhood cancer into national strategies, health benefits packages and social insurance schemes.
The initiative is creating a WHO technical package to help scale-up capacities within national health systems, to be achieved with support from a host of partners. Among them are SIOP and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the United States, the first WHO Collaborating Centre on childhood cancer, which has committed US$ 15,000,000 to support implementation of the initiative. The WHO Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer should be considered as a landmark event for children/adolescents with cancer and their families.
Target Country Workshops
- Myanmar: 2nd National Workshop on the Childhood Cancer Control Programme, May 08 (Yangon) & May 09 (Nay Pyi Taw)
- Peru: National Stakeholder Workshop on Childhood Cancer, Lima, June 07
- Philippines: National Stakeholder Workshop on Childhood Cancer, Manila, September 25
- Uzbekistan: National Workshop on Childhood Cancer , Tashkent, October 29
- Ghana: 2nd National Stakeholder Workshop on Childhood Cancer, Accra, November 18 and 19
Planning and preparatory steps in focus countries are actively underway in the other WHO regions, including Zambia (WHO African Region) and Morocco (WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region), among others.
- Morrocco: date and time tbc
- Zambia: 17 February, Southern Sun Ridgeway in Lusaka, Zambia
It is expected that the Global Initiative will be working in 12 to 15 countries by the end of 2020, partnering with stakeholders who are already working in these countries.
The actions so far have included setting up working groups to develop WHO technical packages and ad hoc promoted workshops in selected countries of the world. SIOP is contributing to the success of this initiative by providing the expertise and knowledge of its members (mostly PODC representatives), in the abovementioned WHO GICC working groups (now concluded) and international workshops.
So far, as part of the process of deploying the GICC, workshops have been organised in Myanmar and Peru. In brief, Rashmi Dalvi , current SIOP Continental President for Asia, designated Ramandeep Arora to attend the Myanmar WHO Workshop which took place on May 8th (Yangon) & May 9th (Nay Pyi Taw) 2019 along with Pernilla Pergert (SIOP nursing representative to the Scientific Committee).
Lilianna Vasquéz, who is Peruvian and SIOP YI board member and Julia Challinor, SIOP Advocacy Officer attended the June 7th WHO Workshop in Peru. Further workshops have been held in Uzbekistan, Ghana (led by Lorna Renner, past SIOP Continental President Africa), and the Philippines .
Michael Sullivan (Continental President Oceania) has been officialy announced as the SIOP representative/ambassador and lead contact on the GCCI.
The WHO GICC should be considered for children/adolescents with cancer and their families as a landmark event In fact, for the first time, a worldwide framework has been finally created for channelling the wide range of action to promote the survival rate of children/adolescents with cancer and is animated by multiple “subjects” in multiple countries of the world. This is a major success, and SIOP has to take a great part of the credit for this success.
We would like to thank all your members for their tireless contributions to the GCCI on the various working groups!
Ottawa 2020 - Save the date!
We will host a Symposium Session about the Global Childhood Cancer Initiative and will share more information about speakers and content closer to the meeting date.