ICCD 2019 - No more pain, no more loss
International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) which was founded in 2002 to raise awareness about the disease that is the number one disease related killer of children. This year the awareness focuses on no more loss and no more pain.
Each year more than 300,000 children ages birth to 19 years are diagnosed with cancer around the world. Approximately 8 in 10 of these children live in low and middle-income countries where their survival rate is often near 20%. This is in stark contrast to high-income countries, like New Zealand, where cure rates exceed 80% for many common childhood cancers.
While New Zealand is fortunate to have excellent medical care for children diagnosed with cancer the stark truth is that the treatment has changed little since 1970s with a slow increase in new drugs and treatment protocols approved here and overseas.
Childhood cancer is an international issue that affects a vitally important group in our society – our children who are our future and our hope. They deserve the best we can offer.Robyn Kiddle, CE Child Cancer Foundation
We all have a part to play in advocating for better access to treatment particularly in developing countries.
In 2018 at the UN General Assembly, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced its new global initiative to address the disparity between childhood cancer survival in low-middle income versus high-income countries. This is a major step in addressing the balance in care for children wherever they may live.
The focus is on reducing mortality by earlier diagnosis and access to treatment together with the reduction in pain and suffering for this group. Over 65% of countries where childhood cancer exists offer no palliative care for their children.
This is not the case in New Zealand but as a member of the international community it is our moral duty to raise awareness of the conditions of others. Children, wherever they are and whatever their circumstances deserve the best start in life possible.