On the occasion of International Nurses' Day, the Sanofi Espoir Foundation reports positively on the first "My Child Matters Nursing Awards" pediatric oncology scholarships for specialized nurses. Created in 2015, these awards complement the My Child Matters program developed by the Foundation since 2006 for doctors, in order to fight against childhood cancer and reduce health inequalities in low- and middle-income countries.
The assessment was conducted in partnership with the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) in El Salvador, the Central African Republic, Tanzania, and Indonesia. It shows a high level of nurse competency in these four countries. The second lesson is the key role played by local professional associations and the importance of collaboration with NGOs.
The analysis also points to improved communication with parents, who in the case of El Salvador have been able to better manage oral chemotherapy at home as a result of the COVID crisis. The experience is also positive in Indonesia, where improved training of nurses has resulted in shorter hospital stays. Finally, the evaluation made recommendations, such as involving the Ministry of Health from the outset (in the case of Tanzania), or offering more practical training (Central African Republic).
Last year, the Foundation doubled the number of My Child Matters Nursing Awards. Twelve applications were selected in two categories: education and professional practice. Of the selected applications, six are in Asia (India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan [two projects] and the Philippines), four in Africa (Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia) and two in Europe/Middle East (Palestinian Territories, Ukraine).
Since its inception, the My Child Matters Nursing Awards program has supported 37 pediatric oncology nursing improvement projects to enhance local initiatives, psychosocial support, palliative care and improve survival rates.