We are grateful for the collaboration and support of our partners
Hospital Twinning Partnerships
Our programmes focus on twinning partnerships between hospitals in low and middle-income countries and institutions in high-income countries. Programme hospitals form the basis of our programmes and twinned institutions are vital in supporting our work through the agreement that their expert staff provide their valuable time on a voluntary basis. Without their extremely generous contribution these programme partnerships would not be possible.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) – Bangladesh
The paediatric haematology and oncology department at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) is the largest specialised centre in Bangladesh for the treatment of children with cancer. BSMMU is the location of our programme work in the country and is the hub centre of a satellite network of hospitals which are being developed to increase their capacity to treat childhood cancer. The department was established in the 1990s and has good diagnostic facilities but limited space to cope with the numbers of new patients every year. It is partly funded by the government and has more than 30 beds specifically for children with cancer but infrastructure such as hygiene facilities has not been developed to suit the needs of the ward. BSMMU Iis linked through a twinning partnership with both University College London Hospitals (UK) and British Columbia Children’s Hospital (Canada). The staff at BSMMU and at the satellite centres receive training and mentoring from the twinning partners through in-country workshops and distance learning.
Cameroon Baptist Health Convention Hospitals – Cameroon
In Cameroon World Child Cancer is working with Banso Baptist Hospital, Mbingo Baptist Hospital (both in the Northwest Province) and Mutengene Baptist Hospital (Southwest Province). The Baptist hospitals are approved and licensed by the Cameroon Ministry of Health and are subsidised by the government. Members of staff are appointed by the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board (CBCHB). Each of the hospitals is able to provide standard diagnostic procedures and treatment and two of the hospitals have dedicated paediatric oncology beds. The hospitals are supported through a twinning partnership with Tygerberg Children’s Hospital / Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa. They have also been receiving support through the Beryl Thyer Memorial Africa Trust (BTMAT) in the form of medical expertise and financial help, especially to cover treatment costs for children. Prof Peter Hesseling (Stellenbosch) visits Cameroon twice yearly and provides guidance for staff as well as conducting follow-up on previous patients.
Dana Farber/Children’s Hospital Boston (DF/CHB) – Boston, USA
DF/CHB is a partner of Yangon Children’s Hospital in Myanmar, alongside Guy’s & St Thomas’ hospitals and the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, UK. Their expert staff have been key in focusing on nursing empowerment and training, building the capacity of ward nurses at YCH and the wider paediatric nursing team. They lead workshops at YCH and also conduct distance mentoring and case discussions on a regular basis, building the confidence of the YCH nurses in providing adequate care for their patients.
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, an integrated paediatric haematology and oncology programme through Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston, provides all the services of both a leading cancer and blood disease center and a leading paediatric hospital. DF/CHB offers an unrivaled breadth of treatment options for children and young adults with cancer and blood disorders – from standard protocols and advanced therapies to clinical trials. Patients also benefit from vast paediatric subspecialty resources – neurologists, orthopedists, diagnostic imaging specialists, pathologists – that allow truly comprehensive care.
Evelina Children’s Hospital (ECH) – London, UK
Evelina Children’s Hospital joined the twinning programme at Yangon Children’s Hospital (YCH) Myanmar in 2014, becoming a partner alongside Guy’s & St Thomas’ and Children’s Hospital Boston. The expertise that ECH brings is centred around psychological care for patients and families, through their expert team of paediatric psychologists. They assisted the team in Yangon through teaching distraction techniques, play therapy and counselling for families and staff. The previous Head Teacher of the Evelina hospital school also assisted in the development of the first educational facility for children at YCH, ensuring that children with cancer and those with other conditions requiring a long treatment period do not miss out on vital education.
ECH is one of only two specialist children’s hospitals in London. It is the second largest provider of children’s services in London with the commitment to being a world-leading centre of life-changing care for children, young people and their families. Based in a stunning purpose-built building at St Thomas’, ECH includes 151 inpatient beds, day care unit and a hospital school.
Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) – London, UK
Guy’s & St Thomas’ hospitals are twinned with Yangon Children’s Hospital (YCH) in Myanmar. The twinning team provide training in Yangon as well as distance mentoring and case discussions, especially around haematological conditions (both malignant and benign). The expert pathology team at GSTT have also been helping to build the capacity of pathology staff in Yangon and improve their ability to accurately diagnose patients.
Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust provides a full range of services for local residents, as well as specialist services for patients from further afield. Patient care takes place in two of London’s best known teaching hospitals; Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital, where Evelina London Children’s Hospital is also located. They provide community care in health centres for residents of Lambeth and Southwark.
Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) – Accra, Ghana
Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) is a 2,000-bed tertiary referral hospital located in the capital city of Ghana. It is the third-largest hospital in Africa and gained teaching hospital status in 1962. The Paediatric Oncology Unit has 30 beds and a separate day care unit where children can attend clinics to receive treatment and then return home. There are two trained paediatric oncologists; Professor Lorna Renner and Dr Cathy Segbefia, as well as a dedicated team of trained nurses. A hostel facility is available but space is limited and there are only two rooms available for children with cancer and their families. KBTH has most essential laboratory and diagnostic facilities, as well as a radiotherapy facility. There is a dedicated support group for children with cancer; Ghana Parents’ Association for Childhood Cancers (GHAPACC).
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
The Children’s Hospital at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is twinned with the three hospitals that World Child Cancer supports in Cameroon; Mbingo Baptist Hospital, Banso Baptist Hospital and Mutengene Baptist Hospital. The partnership aims to provide training to improve the quality of care for children with cancer through sharing knowledge and building capacity of healthcare professionals. Key staff from Leeds Children’s Hospital regularly visit Cameroon to provide this training. The partnership is led by Rachel Hollis, Lead Nurse for Children’s Cancer, and Dr Sue Picton, Paediatric Oncologist at LCH. This partnership also benefits from the involvement of Stellenbosch University/Tygerberg Children’s Hospital in South Africa and paediatric oncologist Prof Peter Hesseling who has been visiting Cameroon for 17 years to help to improve services for children with cancer.
LCH is one of the UK’s largest children’s hospitals and provides a comprehensive range of specialist children’s hospital services, including treatment for children and teenagers with cancer.
Mandalay Children’s Hospital
World Child Cancer began working with Mandalay Children’s Hospital (MCH) in 2017. Having established our Myanmar programme with Yangon Children’s Hospital (YCH) in 2014, MCH is the only other hospital in the country with a dedicated childhood cancer unit. The hospital’s paediatric oncology ward has a capacity of 50 beds and is led by paediatric oncologist, Dr Yi Yi Kyaw who works alongside three other paediatric oncologists and 12 nurses. In 2018, the unit diagnosed 218 children and saw an additional 284 children returning for follow-ups or needing assessments. For the children not requiring overnight care, World Child Cancer supported the development of a new outpatient day care centre which was established in June 2019 which will ease the pressure on the inpatient ward. The hospital also has a play room for all children to enjoy. The paediatric oncology unit at MCH is linked in a twinning partnership with healthcare professionals from both Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (UK) and Cambridge University Hospitals. These volunteers conduct regular visits to MCH to deliver workshops and to provide support for the paediatric oncology staff to improve the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer. We recently purchased vital pathology equipment for the hospital to support the diagnosis of childhood cancer. We have also recently supported the hospital in purchasing essential supplies and maintenance work, including funding the development of new handwashing facilities and upgrading the power supply, allowing for air conditioning in all rooms. In 2019, we are working with MCH to deliver Early Warning Sign training to paediatricians and doctors from nearby regions to ensure more children are diagnosed in the early stages of cancer.
National University Hospital (NUH) – Singapore
NUH have been supporting the work of Southern Philippines Medical Centre (SPMC) in Davao, the Philippines, since the medical lead from SPMC completed her training at NUH many years ago. They are a vital partner, along with St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (USA) in building the capacity of the programme in the Philippines to diagnose, treat and care for children with cancer. They have provided training opportunities and regularly hold online case discussions and learning sessions for staff in the Philippines.
The NUH is a tertiary hospital and major referral centre for a comprehensive range of medical, surgical and dental specialties. Staffed by a team of healthcare professionals who rank among the best in the field, the NUH offers quality patient care by embracing innovations and advances in medical treatment. NUH provides a broad spectrum of cancer care and management from screening and early diagnosis to treatment and long-term care.
Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) – Malawi
The Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) is located in Blantyre, southern Malawi. Children with cancer started to be treated at the hospital in 1964 and in 1997 a separate paediatric oncology ward was opened with 17 dedicated beds. The capacity of the ward was again expanded in 2010, along with a refurbishment, to now providing 24 beds for children with cancer, as well as an isolation room and separate area for procedures. The unit was run by Prof Elizabeth Molyneux from 1997 until 2015, and is now run by Dr George Chagaluka, who completed his African Fellowship in paediatric oncology at the Red Cross Hospital in South Africa. The unit has 11 nurses and the hospital has a paediatric surgery team as well as good palliative care support. Pathology services are limited and there is no radiotherapy available. Prof Molyneux has built up several strong relationships with supporting healthcare professionals and the ward at QECH is twinned with both the Royal Victoria Infirmary (Newcastle, UK) and Princess Maxima Center (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), which provide expertise and support for the paediatric oncology service, both in person and from a distance.
Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) – Edinburgh, UK
RHSC has been treating children in Scotland for more than 150 years, providing a comprehensive range of specialist services. They are twinned with Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana.
Royal Victoria Infirmary – Newcastle, UK
The Royal Victoria Infirmary has been supporting the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, for many years alongside Princess Maxima Center in Amsterdam. Staff from RVI have been regular visitors to QECH and have also established an innovative online link to a microscope camera in Blantyre, which enables a pathologist in Newcastle to quickly confirm a diagnosis at a distance. Members of the paediatric oncology team also established a charity to support children with cancer in Malawi which funds chemotherapy drugs and patient support every year.
The RVI has been providing healthcare to communities in Newcastle and the North East for over 250 years. They provide services which are among the safest and most advanced within the country. Several of the departments at the RVI are officially designated regional centres of expertise. Some enjoy international reputations, like the Neurosciences Centre, which treats people with illnesses affecting the nervous system, including the brain and the spinal cord. Patients come to the RVI not only from Newcastle and across Northern England but, for some pioneering treatments, from all over the UK and abroad.
Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) – Philippines
The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is located in Davao City on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. SPMC is at the centre of the Mindanao Paediatric Cancer Care Network (MPCCN), the development of which Iis led by Dr Mae Dolendo, the medical lead of the World Child Cancer funded programme in the country. In 2009 SPMC had 10 beds dedicated to children with cancer and by 2010 were able to increase this number to 25 beds. They have built up an expert multi-disciplinary team and lead the development of the satellite centre network on the island which now includes Davao Regional Medical Centre (Tagum), Saint Elizabeth Hospital (General Santos City), Northern Mindanao Medical Center (Cagayan de Oro) and Butuan Medical Center (Butuan City). SPMC will complete the construction of a 100-bed oncology centre in 2016 which will provide 50 beds specifically for children with cancer, thanks to the support of the hospital administration for focusing on this area. SPMC has received twinning support from NUH in Singapore and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in USA, to enable it to develop the capacity of the local team in treating children with cancer.
St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH) – Memphis, USA
St Jude have been supporting the twinning programme in the Philippines since 2006, with World Child Cancer joining with this support in 2009. Their expert team focus on training for staff, with special focus on a retinoblastoma early diagnosis project. This work has also been made possible through the involvement of National University Hospital in Singapore.
The mission of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for paediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of their founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay. They have spent more than half a century finding cures and saving children, and their groundbreaking research has helped push the survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20% in 1962 to more than 80% today. For more than 20 years St Jude has run a successful global outreach programme, leading in international partnerships and training for healthcare professionals in Latin America, southeast Asia and Africa.
Stellenbosch University/Tygerberg Children’s Hospital (SU/TCH) – Cape Town, South Afric
This hospital has been supporting paediatric oncology work in the developing world since 1976, beginning with a referral service for Namibia. Key staff have now been driving the twinning programme that World Child Cancer supports in Cameroon and have over the years established adapted treatment protocols for several malignancies, carried out follow-up activities, initiated data registries and arranged training for key staff in 3 hospitals in rural Cameroon.
The Tygerberg Children’s Hospital (TCH) was opened in March 2000 and mostly serves the poor community within its geographical area. Specialist care is offered to areas of the Northern and Eastern Cape, and TCH support paediatric care in other African countries. Every year, approximately 16,000 babies and children are admitted to TCH and more than 100,000 children receive specialist medical care as outpatients. TCH serves as the academic hospital for the University of Stellenbosch, the University of the Western Cape and other tertiary institutions, as well as the Provincial Government of the Western Cape. Clinical research into diseases affecting children in South Africa, such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and cancer, as well as the management of neonatal diseases, is also a focus of the work at this hospital.
University College Hospital (UCH) – London, UK
UCH has been the twinning partner of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Dhaka, Bangladesh since 2012. A team of doctors and nurses from UCH have been providing training workshops, practical ward demonstrations and distance mentoring for the staff at BSMMU on a regular basis. Emphasis has been on enhancing nursing care and empowerment of staff. Doctors from BSMMU have also completed observational training at UCH. The twinning partnership with BSMMU also includes British Columbia Children’s Hospital (BCCH) in Vancouver, Canada.
UCH was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in October 2005. The hospital provides a broad range of services both for children and adults. The University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre provides cancer day care and outpatient services as well as non-malignant blood services. The center welcomed its first patients in April 2012 and is now a busy centre providing facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions.
Vietnam Children’s Hospitals
World Child Cancer began working with the National Children’s Hospital, Hanoi, Hue Central Hospital, Hue and the Children’s and City Children’s Hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City in 2019. The programme aims to provide psychosocial support and training to healthcare professionals working with children with cancer in hospitals across Vietnam.
Yangon Children’s Hospital (YCH) – Myanmar
World Child Cancer initiated a programme based at Yangon Children’s Hospital (YCH) in July 2014. The paediatric oncology ward is being linked in a twinning partnership with both Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (UK) (which includes the Evelina Children’s Hospital) and with Dana Farber / Children’s Hospital Boston (USA). The ward at YCH covers 2 floors with a combined capacity of 50 beds, interlinked with the haemophilia department but staffed with the same doctors and nurses. There are isolation and high-risk sections, a treatment / procedure room and a play area for children who are well enough to leave their beds. World Child Cancer assisted in upgrading the hygiene facilities available by installing new sinks on the ward and a school service for patients is due to start in June 2016. The paediatric oncology department is linked with the general children’s hospital and has a pathology service which is limited in human resource. Twinning partners are providing medical and nursing training and mentoring for the team at YCH through regular visits and online contact. The psychology team and ex-Headmistress of the Evelina Children’s Hospital School are providing guidance in improving psycho-social support for patients, families and staff. There is no accommodation facility at YCH and with large families accompanying patients to hospital, multiple siblings and caregivers resort to sleeping in wards, corridors and in the car park.
There are a number of partner organisations who support and collaborate on our work, including those focused on cancer specifically, and other non-governmental organisations. The wealth of knowledge and experience that these partners bring to the programmes ensures that we are working within best-practice and increases the impact of our work.
International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN)
ICPCN is a worldwide network of individuals and agencies working with children and young people with incurable or life-threatening conditions and their families, regardless of where they live in the world. The organisation raises awareness of the issues surrounding palliative care, lobby for the global development of children’s palliative care services and share expertise, knowledge and skills amongst professionals working within palliative care. World Child Cancer has partnered with ICPCN on a palliative care initiative in Bangladesh, and will collaborate on further work together to ensure that children in our programmes have access to appropriate and holistic palliative care.
International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP)
SIOP was founded in the late 1960’s as a membership organisation with the vision that no child should die of cancer. It now has over 1,000 healthcare professional members who are dedicated to increasing knowledge about all aspects of childhood cancer in order to improve and optimise treatments throughout the world. SIOP has regional branches and also a Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC) committee which comprises 12 working groups focusing on different aspects of childhood cancer treatment. World Child Cancer are very pleased to be a partner of SIOP, enabling us to access the knowledge and support of experts in paediatric oncology and use their advice for our programme work. Most of the twinning partner volunteers and local professionals that work with us are members of SIOP.
Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
UICC is a membership organisation that exists to help the global health community accelerate the fight against cancer. Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, UICC has a growing membership of over 900 organisations across 155 countries, including major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes and patient groups. UICC works closely with key international UN agencies and the main aims of the organisation include advocacy, campaigning and capacity building. World Child Cancer is a member of UICC and works with it on several key activities including childhood cancer early warning signs awareness, palliative care and training for healthcare professionals.
World Child Cancer collaborates with other non-governmental and civil society organisations in our programme work, using the strength and knowledge of partners in specific areas or around particular activities.
Beryl Thyer Memorial Africa Trust – BTMAT
Launched in 2006 by Dr Peter McCormick, a GP who started making regular trips to Africa in 1992. He first visited Cameroon in 1997 and continued to travel twice a year to volunteer as a children’s physician in three Baptist hospitals in the country. It was here that he started noticing children with Burkitt lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system, endemic in sub-Saharan Africa) and became involved in supporting the work of Peter Hesseling (Stellenbosch University, South Africa), who is the lead of a twinning partnership aiming to help build capacity in Cameroon to improve the treatment of children with cancer. BTMAT has been our partner in Cameroon since World Child Cancer started funding the programme in 2012. The organisation raises funds in the UK to support the costs of treatment for children at our three partner hospitals.
Please Take Me There
Please Take Me There is a charity that offers free transportation to people in need, giving them access to healthcare, new opportunities, empowering their lives.
Please Take Me There works with World Child Cancer to help transport children with cancer in Myanmar to the only hospital in the country that can help them, Yangon Children’s Hospital. For most children and their families, the journey to Yangon Children’s Hospital take up to 12 hours each way. Some families travel up to four days and live with less than £2 per day.
Please Take Me There has also supported our twinning partnership between Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and Yangon Children’s Hospital by providing free air transportation for the medical team involved in visits to Yangon Children Hospital. These visits enable the training of healthcare professionals, improvement in diagnosis and improvement in the quality of care at Yangon Children’s Hospital which contributes to increasing survival rates of childhood cancer in Myanmar.