400,000 children worldwide will develop cancer this year. Over half will never receive an accurate diagnosis or the treatment and pain relief they need. A lack of awareness and understanding of childhood cancer is a major barrier to diagnosis for many children.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity for our partners worldwide to raise the profile of childhood cancer in their countries. Through sharing information about childhood cancer and its symptoms, more children will have a chance at a timely diagnosis and the treatment and care they deserve.
Read on to find out more about the activities happening in our programme countries around the world:
This month our partners in Ghana have taken part in a number of in-studio radio and TV discussions on the early warning signs of childhood cancer. This is a fantastic opportunity to reach large numbers of people across the country with information that could potentially be life-saving for a child.
Community Health Nurses have also taken part in early warning signs training. The faster a child is diagnosed, the faster they can referred to a specialist centre for treatment and the higher their chances of survival.
There have also been initiatives to reach those living in rural areas, with information vans from the National Centre on Civic Education going into communities to spread awareness.
Our partners were able to negotiate a deal with a leading mobile network (MTN) to send out text messages about early warning signs to 500,000 subscribers across the country.
Oncologist Dr Kouya Francine was interviewed about early warning signs on two community radios in the West region
Early warning signs awareness posters and brochures are currently being developed and will be printed and distributed once validated by the Ministry of Health later in the month.
With the support of Lions Club International, we have printed 30,000 leaflets featuring the key childhood cancer symptoms. They have been distributed throughout hospitals and rural communities throughout the country, helping educate people on what to look out for and where to go for help.
Lions Club volunteers have also aided with the distribution of the leaflets and manning a helpline, ensuring that even those in hard-to-reach areas have access to this vital information.
Doctors from three of our partner hospitals will be appearing on popular talk shows throughout the month, helping reach a wider audience with information on early warning signs and why childhood cancer should be a priority.
In Malawi, our partners have recorded a jingle about Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer in the local language of Chichewa, which will be played on three of the countries leading radio stations.
World Child Cancer’s programme coordinator, Richard Sabawo, alongside the medical lead and lead nurse will be featured in one of the leading broadcasting TV programmes on health (Times TV) to talk about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and early warning signs.
This will also be an opportunity to bust some of the common myths associated with childhood cancer.