Oncology Program Making Gains in Treating Childhood Cancers
A decade ago, cancer was considered a death sentence in western Kenya. But today, expanded treatment options are bringing hope and saving lives, particularly for children.
Cancer treatments for children ages 0 to 15 years old are now offered by the Pediatric Oncology Department in the Hemato-Oncology Division at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret. The team has been taking care of about 150 newly diagnosed patients each year. In 2017, the number increased to approximately 170 new patients. The most common childhood cancers are Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, Burkitt Lymphoma, Nephroblastoma, and Hodgkin Lymphoma. The AMPATH Consortium lead for pediatric oncology is Dr. Terry Vik of the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Oncology training is also expanding through use of the Telemedicine Center at the Chandaria Cancer and Chronic Diseases Centre. The Pediatric Oncology department held the 9th Pediatric Oncology Workshop on January 23rd and 24th at the in the Telemedicine facility with 63 participants. The workshop was geared towards training healthcare professionals drawn from various hospitals on diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancers. The workshop was led by qualified professionals from Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, and Moi University. The two international institutions collaborate with the AMPATH pediatric oncology team in offering teleconference technical support once or twice a month, online consultations, training of laboratory staff, development of treatment protocols and Standard Operating Procedures for various diagnostic tests.
Participants and facilitators attending the 9th Pediatric Oncology Workshop from various hospitals in Western Kenya
Remain Vulnerable to a Dream...Celebrate!
Jo Taylor visited AMPATH's Turbo clinic in February 2018 admist a celebration for HIV-free children. Read her full blog here and check out photos from the event.
"We arrived in the midst of a glorious celebration. They called it a Graduation – more than 100 babies born to HIV+ mothers since 2015 have been declared HIV-Free...
As we remain vulnerable to new dreams, let us stay vulnerable to old dreams. The dream of eliminating transmission of the HIV virus to a baby during birth."
- Jo Taylor, AMPATH development board member & volunteer
University of Texas Dell Medical School Joins AMPATH Consortium
The Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin recently joined AMPATH as the newest Consortium member. The school’s Director of Global Health, Dr. Tim Mercer, has a long history with AMPATH. As a second-year medical student, he traveled to Eldoret for the first time as a Slemenda Scholar and later became the IU medicine team leader for two years. In his new role at Dell Medical School, he will work alongside Dr. Bill Tierney, Chair of the Department of Population Health and former President and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute. They will lead Dell Medical School’s AMPATH activities, namely in pediatric sub-specialties (starting with pediatric neurology), nursing, and population health.
Dr. Tim Mercer recently shared a blog post about what global health means to Dell Medical School.
To suggest an article for a future Habari, contact Deb Neary.
Children born to HIV+ mothers "graduate" after being declared HIV-free.