Childhood cancer patients in Africa

Delivering Hope and Health

26/05/17

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ristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Announces $100 Million Global HOPE Program to Help Childhood Cancer Patients in Africa


Portrait of a young cancer patient

A young cancer patient waits to see an oncologist at Princess Marina Hospital. The Global HOPE initiative aims to treat more than 5,000 children and train thousands of healthcare professionals within the region.

For children with cancer, where they live too often determines their chance of survival.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation recently launched Global HOPE (Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence), a program that aims to improve the health outcomes of children with cancer living in southern and east Africa.

Together with the Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers and Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children's Hospital, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation this week announced a combined $100 million grant to build and operate an innovative pediatric hematology-oncology treatment network that will help provide long-term capacity to treat and dramatically improve the prognosis of thousands of children in the region.

Our goal is and must continue to be that no child — anywhere in the world — should die from cancer. But at a minimum, all children should have the same fighting chance.
Picture of a woman's hands in her lap

A mother is hopeful after finally finding an oncologist to care for her 7-year-old son at Princess Marina Hospital. They were turned away at several other clinics that did not have the capacity to treat pediatric cancer.

"Our goal is and must continue to be that no child — anywhere in the world — should die from cancer," writes CEO Giovanni Caforio, M.D., and David G. Poplack, M.D., of Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers in a Leadership Insights post on BMS.com. "But at a minimum, all children should have the same fighting chance."

In Africa, more than 100,000 children will develop cancer this year, and the vast majority will die, as they have little access to diagnostic and treatment services. This is a stark contrast to high-income countries, where 80 percent of pediatric cancer patients will survive.

Global HOPE will build on the legacy of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's SECURE THE FUTURE program by sharing and replicating the lessons and experiences from its successful HIV/AIDS model. SECURE THE FUTURE has helped give children with HIV the opportunity to enter adulthood with a better quality of life and hope for a brighter future.

"This initiative builds on 18 years of success of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's SECURE THE FUTURE program and will offer new hope to families impacted by pediatric blood disorders and cancer," Caforio said of the announcement.