Geneva, Switzerland - February 15, 2017
Today is International Childhood Cancer Day which highlights the need for concerted global actions to address the growing challenge posed by this non-communicable disease. Globally, childhood and adolescent cancer is threatening to overtake infectious diseases, as one of the highest causes of disease-related mortality in children.
According to IARC (2015), the reported worldwide incidence of childhood cancer is increasing, from 165,000 new cases annually to 215,000 cases for children 14 years and younger and 85,000 new cases for 15-19 year-olds. Many more remain uncounted and unreported due to a lack of childhood cancer registries in a large number of countries.
While the number of children with cancer is much less compared to global incidence of adult cancers, the number of lives saved is significantly higher; survival rates in high-income countries reach an average of 84% and are steadily improving even in less-resourced areas of the world where there is local and international support.
The ICCD campaign’s ultimate goal and unified message is “Better access to Care for Children & Adolescents with Cancer Everywhere”. This message spotlights the inequities and glaring disparity of access to care in most low- and middle-income countries where 80% of children with cancer live. Children and adolescents in Africa, Asia and Latin America and in parts of Eastern and Southern Europe do not yet have access to appropriate treatment including essential medicines and specialized care. Currently, where one lives often determines one’s ability to survive childhood cancer.
The 1800 healthcare professionals from 110 countries who are members of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) and the 187 member organizations of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest non-profit patient support organization for childhood cancer ask everyone to come together in solidarity to make sure children and adolescents everywhere have the chance to survive cancer and live long, productive and meaningful lives.
"The chance for a cure, the chance to live, should not be an accident of geography. There is nothing scarier than realizing that your child has cancer. However, there is nothing more tragic than knowing that treatment and cure does exist for your particular child’s cancer and with excellent outcomes, BUT… that it is not available for your child. Why? Because your child happens to live in the wrong hemisphere! It is time to take action to stop this cruel atrocity… make your voices heard on International Childhood Cancer Day and demand from world leaders to ACT and HELP SAVE ALL CHILDREN regardless of where they live!"
(HRH Princess Dina Mired, mother of childhood cancer survivor, global primemover for equitable cancer control).
On International Childhood Cancer Day, we ask that stakeholders in healthcare, parents, families, and communities advocate for government collaboration with national civil society organizations, non-profit groups and local communities to ensure that children and adolescents with cancer have appropriate care and support throughout the childhood cancer journey (from diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care).
This call to action supports the Sustainable Development Goal 3, Indicator number 4. by 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention, early diagnosis and treatment and by promoting mental health and well-being. Indeed, “If these Goals are completed, it would mean an end to extreme poverty and inequality by 2030”.
With your help, we can create lasting, positive change in the lives of the children/adolescents with cancer who are the future of all our nations and global society as a whole.
Join our social media campaign!: #Together4kidswcancer #Togethercreatingbetterfutures
The power for creating a better future for children/adolescents with cancer, lies in each one of us and in what we do in the present. Today, as we celebrate International Childhood Cancer Day, let us honor the extraordinary courage and strength of children/adolescents with cancer, who at a very young age, have to go through a long, arduous and painful treatment journey.
Let us recognize and support the incredible determination and resolve of their parents and families, who do everything humanly possible to fight for and save the lives of their children.
Let us appreciate and thank the many dedicated medical practitioners, health care professionals, volunteers and supporters, who give untiringly of their time, expertise and experience to ensure continuing improvement in the quality of treatment and care for children/adolescents with cancer.
Let us acknowledge and work with international development organizations as well as national governments that have recognized and are responding to the needs of children /adolescents with cancer and the survivors.
Together, we can do so much more for children /adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families. In the days ahead, let's work with greater focus, stronger collaboration and enhanced synergies, so that inequities in care and survivorship can be eliminated.
Let us join forces and advocate for more support for childhood cancer research, cure and care, so that in our lifetime, childhood cancer deaths and disability can be substantially minimized.
Let us be there for every child/adolescent with cancer, the survivors and their families, wherever they may be, so that the cancer journey will be less isolating, traumatic and catastrophic.
Let us never forget that "the essence of creating a better future is in taking care of the children"; "when one child suffers, the whole nation, the whole world suffers".
#Together4kidswcancer. #Together4betterfutures. #ICCD.DoMore.CareMore
Carmen Auste. Global Chair, Childhood Cancer International
This is in accordance with the UN Rights of the Child which states:
Children have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.