Highlighting the worldwide childhood cancer problem and how St. Jude is working toward a solution

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St. Jude Global is one year into its collaboration with the World Health Organization to increase pediatric cancer cure rates across the globe. A lot of the initial work involves simply gathering data to make more informed decisions regarding health policy and cancer control planning.

An estimated 400,000 children around the world are diagnosed with cancer each year.

Even this figure is probably an understatement, because we don’t have reliable data and diagnostic techniques to make a more accurate assessment. Today, survival of a cancer diagnosis depends more upon where children live rather than the type of cancer they have.

Many children with cancer live in low- and middle-income countries. Whether due to a lack of diagnosis, treatment, access to trained and qualified clinicians or inability to pay, the gap in survival rates is among the greatest disparities in health outcomes worldwide.

Much of the work at St. Jude Global is to improve treatments and cures worldwide. A recent informative special report from U.S. News & World Report highlights this problem and efforts around the work to improve and expand childhood cancer care around the globe.

Some of the report highlights St. Jude efforts in China and Jordan, both areas where children have limited access to diagnosis and treatment, but for different reasons.

Nickhill Bhakta, MD, an assistant faculty member and director of the Sub-Saharan Africa region for St. Jude Global, is finding answers to the basic questions necessary to guide health policy and cancer control planning. His research findings from earlier this year define the global scale of the burden cancer imposes upon children, their families and governments.

St. Jude and World Health Organization are collaborating to cure 60% of children with six of the most common types of cancer by 2030. The collaboration seeks to increase the capacity of countries to improve access to quality care for children with cancer, and to increase the prioritization of childhood cancer at the global and national levels. This partership has begun by designating seven countries, including the Philippines, to develop and implement a national plan for improving diagnosis rates and access to quality care.

About the author

Echelle Rutschman is the Senior Director of Communications at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
More Articles From Echelle Rutschman

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