International Childhood Cancer Day

Sanofi Espoir Foundation’s My Child Matters program announces a new initiative of nurse fellowship projects awards, in collaboration with the International Society of Pediatric Oncology.

On the occasion of the International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD), Sanofi Espoir Foundation’s My Child Matters (MCM) program announces its strategic alliance with the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) through creation of a new funding initiative that will specifically benefit childhood cancer care nurses in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs).

Each year, through the My Child Matters Awards for paediatric oncology nurses, ten innovative proposals for improving standard of childhood cancer nursing care in LMICs will be selected for funding by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation, and will receive guidance and mentoring by nurse experts of the SIOP Nurses’ Group.

The three key areas of impact of these projects are identified as nurse education; professional practice development; and research skills development. A Selection Committee with subject matter experts will review, scrutinize, and identify projects for support. Awards for the first ten selected proposals will be announced at SIOP 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa.

An estimated 175,000 new childhood cancer cases are diagnosed every year in the LMICs of the world. Per the figures of GLOBOCAN 2012, 82% of new cases and 93% of childhood cancer deaths were reported in these resource-limited settings. This compares to less than 15% childhood cancer mortality in the developed world. Since 2005, MCM program initiated by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation and its partners has supported 45 projects in 33 countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America to address this global disparity in childhood cancer outcome.

Through these initiatives, My Child Matters has learned that despite wide geographic distribution, countries face common issues in addressing improvements to care for childhood cancer. To positively transform the pediatric oncology landscape, the most powerful tools are availability of local medical and community champions, ability to mobilize resources from private and governmental sectors, implementation of public awareness campaigns about pediatric cancer and children’s rights to healthcare, and finally, introduction of government policies to assure long-term sustainability. Together, these components channel the power of community to initiate change. As examples, at the project site in the Philippines, the survival of patients with commonest pediatric blood cancer has improved to 78% from the baseline dismal value of 16%. In Mali the MCM project helped to treat 112 patients with retinoblastoma with an overall survival rate of 85%. In Paraguay, the Sanofi-Espoir Foundation helped ensure better access to care through creation of a network of satellite clinics, resulting in a decrease in rate of treatment abandonment from 22% in 2006 to 0% in 2014.

My Child Matters program has a ten-year long strategy of partnering with professional pediatric cancer organizations, institutions, and experts to amplify the impact of their joint efforts at lessening the global disparity in outcome of pediatric malignant diseases. Notable among its long-term partners is UICC that provides a most credible channel for high level advocacy for childhood cancers. As we begin this New Year, Sanofi-Espoir Foundation and MCM program wholeheartedly support SIOP’s ICCD 2015 call-to-action for kids with cancer worldwide.

To learn more about My Child Matters program:

About My Child matters

My Child matters is a sustainable cooperation initiated by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation in 2006 in collaboration with its partners, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) and other international childhood cancer organizations, to help low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America fight childhood cancer and reduce inequalities in access to care. Since 2006, 45 projects have received support in 33 countries, thanks to a Sanofi Espoir Foundation investment of € 8,5 million to date.

The International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP)

Established in 1969, the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP), with over 1500 oncologists and allied health professionals as members, is the leading organization concerned with the issues of children and young people who have cancer. The society envisions that “no child should die of cancer.” To realize this vision, SIOP’s mission are to: (1) ensure that each child and young adult with cancer has access to state-of-the-art treatment and care; (2) ensure that all involved in childhood cancer worldwide, have access to the latest progress through meetings, networking, and continuing professional development; (3) support those caring for children and young adults with cancer to provide the best curative and palliative therapies; and, (4) advocate for appropriate long-term follow-up for children and young adults after treatment for cancer. Prof. Giorgio Perilongo is the President of SIOP. The society is governed by a board of directors and has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. SIOP website

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