Discussing Global Access to Childhood Cancer Medicines
Last Tuesday saw the start of the inaugural two-day PORTAGE (Paediatric Oncology Roundtable to Transform Access to Global Essentials) Forum in Sharjah UAE. Around 60 global health organisations were represented, including IDA Foundation, to discuss challenges and solutions in access to paediatric cancer treatment in low- and middle income countries.
IDA Foundation's Marieke Korsten, responsible for our oncology range, was invited to speak during a session on ‘Improving Access to Basic Treatments for Childhood Cancers: Civil Society Innovations and Global Health Management Solutions’ with Busi Nkosi, Advocacy Manager of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network; Salim Salama, Medical Officer of Non-Communicable Diseases at the Middle East Regional Office of the World Health Organization; and Khama Rogo Odera from the World Bank.
Highlighting the global burden of child cancer and challenges to secure treatment for young cancer sufferers, especially in poor countries, Ruth Hoffman, CEO of the American Childhood Cancer Organization, said: “Over 300,000 children develop cancer worldwide each year. 80% live in developing countries where survival rates can be as low as 20%, compared to 80% in high-income countries. Thousands of children are dying unnecessarily when they could be treated or cured.”
Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) and International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control, (UICC), also spoke at the event, and called on civil society and global public and private institutions to make real and active efforts and stand together in adopting clear policies to provide treatment for children with cancer all around the world.
Thanks to the hosts and organisers for a successful event.