Pediatric Oncology in Africa

Changing Outcomes in Pediatric Cancer in Africa

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s SECURE THE FUTURE program continues to evolve and to seek out opportunities to improve health outcomes in populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases. Since 1999, SECURE THE FUTURE has made a significant impact on women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in countries hardest hit by the pandemic. And now, the Foundation and its partners will build on the experience of creating the largest pediatric HIV treatment network and training health care professionals to build lasting capacity to help change the outcomes for children with cancer in Africa.

The statistics for pediatric cancer in resource-limited countries are staggering: although in the United States 80 percent of children with cancer are cured, in sub-Saharan Africa roughly 90 percent of children with cancer do not survive – an estimated 90,000 deaths each year. The grave outcomes for children with cancer are due to lack of diagnosis and a health care workforce that is not trained to treat pediatric cancer.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and its partners will leverage the government relationships, experience and infrastructure of its successful SECURE THE FUTURE initiative to create a transformational pediatric oncology treatment and training program in selected African countries that could save thousands of lives and serve as a blueprint for other countries to follow.

Building on the experience gained through HIV partnerships with Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital (BIPAI) and Texas Children’s Hospital-Cancer and Hematology Center (TXCH), the Foundation is studying how to create the first Network of Centers of Excellence in pediatric cancer and blood disorders in the region. To ensure the model of care is sustainable, the Foundation and partners will focus on creating infrastructure and training the health care workforce across the continuum of cancer care.

The goal of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, its partners and the Network would be to dramatically improve the prognosis and outcomes of children with cancer in sub-Saharan Africa and bring outcomes to a level on par with western nations.