Background

In Kosovo live around 1.9 million people, of whom approximately 30% is a child (under the age of 18). Kosovo has been in war in 1999 and even though it is going through a process of rebuilding after its declaration of independence in 2008, unemployment is high, the average wage is low and in turn, the quality of healthcare is still very much lacking behind.

​For children with cancer (between 60-80 new patients a year) there is often no treatment available because the parents can not afford the costs of therapy, and because there is no medication and medical equipment available. There are hardly any specialized childhood oncologists in Kosovo. Therefore assistance from foreign experts is crucial.

In Kosovo, World Child Cancer NL collaborates with the Dutch foundation ‘Care for Kosovo Kids’ in the field of training and education of healthcare professionals. Care for Kosovo Kids also makes chemotherapy and tube feeding available.

 

Challenges
  • No formal training in pediatric oncology for healthcare professionals.

  • Little awareness of childhood cancer among the public.

  • Limited psycho-social care for patients, families and staff.

  • Travel distance to the hospital in the capital.

  • A lack of reliable childhood cancer data in Kosovo.

  • No experience with tube-feeding. 

  • Lack of essential items such as alcohol, gloves, soap, detergent, test tubes etc.

Key activities
  • Training of healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses and administrators in pediatric oncology, including children’s palliative care.

  • Evaluation and improvement of data collection systems.

  • Providing patients with psycho-social support and the opportunity to continue their education.

  • Providing nutrition whilst patients receive treatment.

  • At the Princess Máxima Center Martine van Grotel, pediatric oncologist, is in the lead for the partnership. Her team exists of pediatric oncologist Corrie Gidding, child life specialists Sophie Uitdehaag and Donna Sluijs, nurse practitioner Dionne Mooij and nurses Lisanne Veldhuizen and Linde Pothoff.

​Outcome
  • Staff on the oncology ward is being trained through ongoing twinning mentorship and opportunities to attend regional and international meetings.

  • Doctors in Kosovo receive advice and counseling regarding the treatment of individual patients.

  • Translation and print of the book ‘Chemo Kasper’, which explains chemotherapy in a comprehensible way for children.

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World Child Cancer NL has ANBI (public charity) status.
Bank account: IBAN NL23FVLB0226795012 · BIC: FVLBNL22

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