Lessons From Pediatric HIV Response In Africa Can Inform Action On Childhood Cancers, Blood Disorders
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Can we fight childhood cancer in Africa the same way we fought HIV?
Joseph Lubega, assistant professor of pediatrics at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers and Baylor College of Medicine and director of the East Africa Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program, and Phangisile Mtshali, director of Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s SECURE THE FUTURE program
“…[I]f we apply the solutions that turned the pediatric HIV and AIDS crisis in [some African] countries into a global health success story, we know that the seemingly impossible becomes achievable. … In that spirit, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, and BIPAI, in partnership with the governments of Botswana, Malawi, and Uganda are providing $100 million to create an innovative hematology-oncology treatment network. The comprehensive initiative, called Global HOPE (Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence), will build long-term capacity to treat and quickly improve the outcomes of thousands of children with blood disorders and cancer in Southern and East Africa. Additionally, this initiative will support construction, equipping, and operating of regional pediatric hematology-oncology clinical facilities. … Is the road ahead for treating pediatric cancer and blood disorders in Southern and East Africa challenging and complicated in so many ways? Yes. But the most important, fundamental lesson we can take from our HIV experience is that this can be done, and this can be done well…” (3/9).