Friday, 16 January 2015

Training Opportunities in Paediatric Oncology

Wish you all a very Happy New Year. As always, at the beginning of each year, I make several resolutions, one of which includes posting on the blog more regularly. This year, over the next few posts, I would like to share with you some national and international collaborative efforts to try and improve the lives of our children with cancer.

Education and training are fundamental to delivering good care to our children with cancer. This need not (and should not) only be a single opportunity but an ongoing effort of continuously updating ourselves. For various reasons, including lack of appropriate opportunities and resources, health professionals in low and middle income countries have been limited in accessing education and training. Internet has gone a long way in addressing this limited access - an excellent example being the volumes and volumes of educational material available for free on the website

Now the SIOP PODC Education and Training Working Group have initiated a bold and exciting idea of developing a repository of training in paediatric oncology clinical medicine or research intended for health care workers from resource-limited countries Each training opportunity is classified by country as well as by the category of opportunity e.g. nurse training, nutrition training, paediatric oncology fellowship, cancer research, etc. My congratulations to Jeremy and Jaime and Neil for the stellar effort.

Finally, and very importantly, such an initiative can only succeed if we spread the word about such a resource and also submit any such training opportunity we know of, however big or small by clicking on this link

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Amaan Shah Foundation for Child Cancer

Amaan Shah is a 11 year old boy from Andhra Pradesh who was diagnosed with Burkitt's lypmphoma. Very sadly, he died while undergoing treatment. His mother very poignantly describes his journey - as only mothers can and I would strongly recommend all us health professionals and parents to read it. It brings to our attention the familiar challenges of delay in recognising the symptoms and diagnosis, the lack of referral pathways, the toxicity of treatment, the inadequate palliation of symptoms, and above all the large vacuum of information and guidance.

Amaan's parents have very bravely and courageously decided to join the cause of children with cancer and set up a foundation in his name Amaan Shah Foundation for Child Cancer. Amaan's mother Asma Pasha says "I don't want all our efforts to go waste, specially MY SON'S... I want to get strong with my emotions and lead for a good cause. What my whole family has faced.. i wish and pray Almighty no parents and children should face that. well its all Almighty's command but still our efforts can make a difference".

I sincerely admire how Amaan's family is trying to turn personal loss and grief into a force for change. I wish them all the best.