On the 15th February 2021, our partners around the world celebrated the 20th International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD). This global campaign is designed to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and to make a stand for the children, teenagers and young adults - and their families - who are living with and beyond cancer.
The 2021 theme for ICCD was ‘Better Survival is achievable, through our hands’. Most childhood cancers can be cured and many of the deaths in low and middle-income countries can be avoided. And we all have the power to make this change.
Children with cancer in our programme countries also took part in the day, using multi-coloured handprints to create a ‘Tree of Life’, symbolising global collaboration and hope for the future.
A widespread media campaign helped create a splash on ICCD, with childhood cancer experts appearing on radio and TV broadcasts and a full page in one of the country’s leading newspapers. They explained the significance of the awareness day, where people could go for help if they were worried about their children and also educated people about the key early warning signs to look out for.
ICCD coincided with the official launch of our programme in Nepal.
Programme Coordinator Rajiv Roy said,
“Childhood cancer contributes significantly to under-five mortality. The voice of these vulnerable children needs to be heard.”
In Myanmar, the children and healthcare professionals had worked together to create their own 'Tree of Life' on the ward at Yangon Children's Hospital. However, the military coup and ensuing protests have led to the widespread closure of hospitals and sick children being discharged. World Child Cancer is working to keep these children in treatment - you can read an update from a doctor working in Myanmar here.