Fight against childhood cancers: 10 nurses rewarded

Every year across the globe, 300 000 children under 18 suffer from cancer. Although the average survival rate is 64%, it varies from 40% in Africa (and even lower depending on the cancer or the country) to 85% in North America. The continents where the mortality rate is the highest are also the ones where cancer cases are most common.

During the 48th SIOP congress (International Society of Paediatric Oncology) in Ireland, the 2nd edition of the “My Child Matters Nurses Awards” allowed Anne Gagnepain-Lacheteau (medical director of the Sanofi Espoir Foundation) and Christina Bagott (chair of the SIOP nursing group) to reward 10 initiatives against childhood cancers. The 10 winners come from underdeveloped countries such as Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Central African Republic, India, Pakistan, Uganda, Mexico and Iraq, with also an initiative launched by the Onco-Pediatric French-African Group (GFAOP).

Amongst them are projects, for instance, of a document explaining to illiterate children and families in Africa the support process of pediatric cancers; also, a program preventing homecoming related infections for children in Indonesia. Each winner was given a 5000€ grant in order to develop their initiative directly into the communities.

For 10 years, the “My Child Matters” (MCM) program, launched by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation, allowed great progress against pediatric cancers in developing countries:

  • around 50 initiatives implemented in Africa, Asia and South America
  • more than 50 000 children taken into care
  • more than 16 000 health professionals trained

Within all these initiatives, the role of nurses is crucial. That’s why, 2 years ago, the Sanofi Espoir Foundation decided – in partnership with the SIOP nursing group – to launch a call for projects for the MCM Nurses Awards.

Last year during the SIOP congress in Cape Town, the first 10 MCM Nurses Awards were given to 10 nurses, and very positive results are already visible in the field, especially for the nurses’ practical training.

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