Giving ‘The Gift of Growing Up’ to children with cancer in Bangladesh: A project update

In March 2020, World Child Cancer launched its new three-year programme in Bangladesh, helping to support children with cancer and their families.

The funding is a direct result of our ‘Give the Gift of Growing Up’ appeal, which raised over £1 million thanks to the UK Aid Match scheme and Gift Aid. The programme in Bangladesh received matched funds from the UK government of £492,597, whilst public donations and Gift Aid funded other World Child Cancer programmes in low-and middle-income countries around the world.

Over 6,000 children in Bangladesh are expected to develop cancer per year, however only a quarter of those receive an accurate diagnosis. This can be attributed to low levels of & late diagnosis – a result of low levels of public awareness- inadequate access to healthcare and a lack of diagnostic equipment World Child Cancer’s three-year programme seeks to improve this.

The project focuses on training nurses in Bangladesh

The project, which is now at its midway point, aims to transform the lives of 7,800 children with cancer across Bangladesh by improving treatment, care and quality of life and access for those most vulnerable. We will achieve long term change by focusing on the improvement of nursing to strengthen the healthcare system.

“The programme in Bangladesh has been a great step forward. Although it is a three-year programme with World Child Cancer, we believe that this is the groundwork for greater long-term impact on childhood cancer care in Bangladesh.”

Jewel Ahmed, World Child Cancer Programme Coordinator for Bangladesh

‘Long-term impact’ is a factor that is given great emphasis. We aim to ensure all of programmes have in-built sustainability, ensuring that the good work can continue past the three-year span of the project. The working groups involved in the programme are all locally led by those involved in the paediatric oncology community who are for the most part in government salaried roles, meaning they will remain in post past the end of this project. Additionally, the Training of Trainers nursing working group are helping to ensure that there are nurse educators able to train a greater number of nurses in each hospital, widening the total group of nurses using new techniques.

These are just two aspects of new and improved measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of the programme.
With over 400,000 children expected to develop cancer worldwide each year, the importance of programmes like this in Bangladesh cannot be understated. We at World Child Cancer want to live in a world where all children, regardless of situation, have equal and proper access to quality cancer care; with your continued support we can move one step closer to making that a reality.

World Child Cancer will be providing updates throughout the duration of the programme. Keep up to date with all the latest news by signing up to our newsletter.

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