First Comprehensive Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Initiative Launched in Africa
The President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama of the Republic of Botswana, the Honorable Minister Dorcas Makgato of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers and Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital through public-private partnerships with the governments of Botswana, Uganda and Malawi, announced a $100 million initiative to create an innovative pediatric hematology-oncology treatment network in southern and eastern Africa. The comprehensive initiative called Global HOPE (Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence) will build long-term capacity to treat and dramatically improve the prognosis of thousands of children with cancer and blood disorders in southern and eastern Africa.
In the U.S., 80 percent of children with cancer survive. In sub-Saharan Africa, the overwhelming majority of pediatric patients do not survive. The mortality rate is estimated to be as high as 90 percent, meaning that thousands of children die from cancer across Africa each year. This is in large part due to an inadequate health care infrastructure and a significant lack of expert physicians and other health care workers trained to treat children with cancer. The most common types of childhood cancers are blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma.