An estimated 100,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa have cancer or a hematological disorder and only 20 percent of those children survive. That’s compared to 80 percent of U.S. children diagnosed with cancer that survive.
Texas Children’s aims to change this dismal news by bringing its world-class pediatric specialists and stellar care and treatment programs where it’s needed most.
Texas Children’s Global Health placed its first pediatric cancer specialist in Africa in 2007. Working at the request of Dr. Haruna Jibril, then head of pediatrics at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana, Dr. Parth Mehta arrived from Texas Children's Cancer & Hematology Centers.
Today, Texas Children’s Global Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence (HOPE) program has physicians working at BIPIA network sites in Angola, Botswana, Malawi and Uganda, and are developing the first pediatric cancer hospital in sub-Saharan Africa in Gaborone, Botswana. In Malawi, they provide pediatric hematology and oncology services at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, in the country’s first hematology-oncology inpatient ward and outpatient clinic.
Texas Children’s also coordinates the first pediatric hematology/oncology training program for East Africa in partnership with the Uganda Cancer Institute, Makerere University and the Uganda Ministry of Health. The 2-year fellowship aims to build a critical mass of pediatric hematology-oncology specialists who will provide effective, locally-appropriate, evidence-based care in the African setting.
Global Hematology & Oncology Programs
Thousands of Angola’s children are born with sickle cell disease each year, and more than 50 percent of those die before age 5. Lack of diagnosis, lack of education on simple treatments to extend these children’s lives and lack of pediatric hematologists all contribute.
In partnership with the Botswana Ministry of Health and the Botswana-Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Trust, Texas Children's aims to strengthen pediatric hematology and oncology care and treatment in Botswana. Approximately 360 children per year develop cancer in Botswana including the HIV-related malignancies - primarily lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and over 700 children with hematological disorders, and only 6% of cases of childhood cancer in Botswana are currently estimated to be identified and treated. Other partners include Princess Marina Hospital and University of Botswana School of Medicine.
Texas Children's currently provides the only pediatric hematologist-oncologist in Botswana. The program has trained more than 400 healthcare professionals in pediatric hematology-oncology throughout Botswana. Approximately 50 new oncology patients and 100 new hematology patients receive care and treatment each year. Survival rates have increased almost 3-fold since the start of our program.
In partnership with the Malawi Ministry of Health, Texas Children's and Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Malawi provide pediatric hematology and oncology services at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. Texas Children's has established a pediatric hematology-oncology inpatient ward and outpatient clinic at Kamuzu Central Hospital. Approximately 200 new oncology patients are diagnosed and treated each year.
In partnership with the Uganda Ministry of Health, Uganda Cancer Institute, Mulago National Referral Hospital and Makerere College of Health Sciences, Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Uganda have launched the East Africa Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Fellowship Training Program in 2016, the first of its kind in East Africa.