Annual report 2019:
from care and parental education to research
Through our twinning programs we are working in Kenya, Kosovo, Indonesia and Malawi to improve the chance of cure for children with cancer. We ensure that knowledge and expertise can be shared on all kinds of topics: from medical care, supportive care and medical pedagogical care to research, parental education and the importance of Universal Health Coverage. Here is a selection of the activities in 2019. Want to know more? Read our full annual report (in Dutch).
Kenya: new procedure and parental education program
Senior analyst Anne Loonen of VUmc/Amsterdam UMC visited the partner hospital in Kenya early 2019. The aim was to implement a new official procedure (Standard Operating Procedure) for the evaluation of blood and bone marrow preparations, together with Kenyan colleagues from the hematology lab. This new procedure ensures faster results of research analysis, so that treatment can be started earlier. For children with cancer, an early start of treatment is essential for a better chance of cure. The parental education program in Kenya is proving very successful, read more about this in our newsletter #2, July 2020.
Kosovo: exchange and training
In 2019, a solid foundation was laid for the program with our partner hospital in Kosovo. Our multidisciplinary team visited the hospital in the spring to exchange questions and needs with colleagues in Kosovo. Contacts were also made with the Kosovo Ministry of Health. In the autumn, Dutch professionals provided training for doctors, nurses and the only psychologist currently working at the partner hospital.
Indonesia: UHC, short course and training
In Indonesia important research was done into the introduction of Universal Health Coverage, a health insurance with which poor people also get access to care and can pay for it; you can read more about this in the article in this newsletter. In addition, pediatric oncology nurses provided a short course in July. The team taught more than 40 Indonesian nurses who are involved in the treatment and care of children with cancer. Topics included safe preparation and administration of chemotherapy, basic oncological guidelines, family centered care, supportive care, neutropenia, side effects of chemotherapy and palliative care. Indonesian nurses working in oncological care for adults also joined certain parts of the short course. In the autumn, training sessions were held on various topics for Indonesian specialists and nurses.
Malawi: short courses, work visits and supportive care
In Malawi both short courses and long-term work visits were provided. During the short visits, trainings were given by a team of pediatric oncologists, a researcher, pathologist, psychologist and physician assistant. Meetings were also arranged for more than 20 local primary care workers so that they can make better and earlier diagnoses. This is very important because childhood cancer is still often missed or diagnosed too late. The long-term presence was aimed at structurally improving treatments by being present daily for a longer period of time. During this longer working visit, a start was also made with a program to structurally improve supportive care.