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Isabel Mestres: Congratulations to Kumasi, Ghana, for increasing the chances of survival for childhood cancer patients
Feb 24, 2024, 22:20

Isabel Mestres: Congratulations to Kumasi, Ghana, for increasing the chances of survival for childhood cancer patients

Isabel Mestres, CEO at City Cancer Challenge Foundation, posted LinkedIn:

“Congratulations to Kumasi, Ghana, for increasing the chances of survival for childhood cancer patients. In less than a year, the city has increased timely referrals for suspected pediatric cancer patients from 1% to 25%, making a significant impact on the lives of these children.

An average of 100-120 cases of pediatric cancers were seen at the KOMFO ANOKYE TEACHING HOSPITAL pediatric oncology unit, which serves the middle and northern part of Ghana, extending its influence to neighbouring West African countries. Late presentation, treatment abandonment, and follow-up losses remain the main challenges.

With City Cancer Challenge’s support, over 120 healthcare workers from 24 facilities have been trained on early warning signs and referrals. The Oncokids app, a locally developed and owned software, has been built on the health system’s paper referral form to support this process. This tool provides a platform through which suspected pediatric cancers are referred directly to the treatment centre.

The tangible impact of these interventions is noteworthy, with a 25% increase in referrals observed, resulting in over 150 cases in the inaugural year. Particularly impressive is that more than 95% of these referrals are attributed to the efficacy of the Oncokids app in enhancing and expediting the referral process.

What’s next? Scale-out these interventions to 26 additional facilities beyond Kumasi, reaching the whole Ashanti region of Ghana.

Congratulations for the incredible leadership and commitment of the people who made this happen: Vivian Paintsil, Lawrence Osei-Tutu, Paul obeng,Yaa Gyamfua Oppong-Mensah, Barnabas Raymond Manlokiya, Comfort Asoogo, Fred Kwame Awittor JALIU ABUBAKARI

And a warm thank you to all the people who inspire me and work non stop to improve children’s lives: M. Tezer Kutluk MD, PhD, FAAP, Angelica Samudio, Jozef Suvada, Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, Guillermo Chantada, Princess Dina Mired, Oscar Ramirez, Anne Gagnepain-Lacheteau, Isabelle Villadary among many others. Thank you Foundation S for your initial support.”

Source: Isabel Mestres/LinkedIn