In a world where 75 percent of children with cancer in industrialized countries are cured and 90 percent of children with cancer in sub-Saharan Africa die, we are making a difference. For example, we provide direct care and treatment for children with cancer in Botswana and Uganda and provide consultation for the over 90,000 children with HIV who are treated in the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative Network. Simultaneously, we train local nurses and doctors in these locations, building skills and leadership for pediatric hematology-oncology programs in these countries for the future.
Pediatric oncology treatment in developing countries
Worldwide, 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, an incidence of about 14.9 cases per 100,000 children less than 20 years of age. Over 80% of children with cancer live in developing countries where they are often diagnosed too late or not diagnosed at all. The majority of patients in resource poor settings die from curable cancers, despite a cure rate of 80% in resource-rich countries.
As more children survive, cancer becomes more evident and recognized, while the infrastructure to deal with such a complex disease is lacking. Low and middle income developing countries (LMICs) traditionally focused their health care efforts toward the treatment and control of infectious diseases. Although many of these problems continue to exist, some countries have successfully initiated programs to decrease morbidity and mortality from HIV infection, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. Cancer is relatively neglected in developing countries and is expected to contribute a greater proportion of the morbidity and mortality of children throughout the world, especially in these developing countries.
Ranked #4 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
We’re proud to be consistently named as a top program in Texas and the entire southwest region. Overall, Texas Children’s Hospital is ranked #4 and is on the Best Children’s Hospital Honor Roll for the ninth straight year.