Demands for National plan and policy for childhood cancer in India
On the occasion of World Cancer Day, kids suffering from cancer and their parents from across India are writing letters to the PM and urging for a National plan and policy for childhood cancer in India. For a country like India that accounts for more than 25 per cent of the world’s childhood cancer where over 250 centres treat kids with cancer, we have poor access to care less than 30 per cent make it to a cancer centre; the top 10 centres see no more than 13-15 per cent of children and survival rates vary from 10 – 80 per cent across hospitals. The data has been shared Cankids Research Department headed by Dr Ramandeep Arora, Pediatric Oncologist, Max Hospitals& Secretary, India Pediatric Oncology Group (INPOG).
Childhood Cancer Survivors of KidscanKonnect: The teenage and young adult survivor group of Cankids (The National Society for Change for Childhood Cancer in India, a National NGO working across the entire spectrum of Childhood Cancer) have collected 300,000 pledges– ‘one for each child who has childhood cancer somewhere in the world each year’.
Pledges have been collected online and through pledge books and pledge sheets from patient beneficiaries – parents and survivors, health care professionals- doctors, nurses, and workers, hospital administrations, Govt officials, politicians, celebrities, donors, NGOs, schools, colleges, media, and civil society – that’s 300,000 people from all over India and overseas who have signed up and want childhood cancer to be a child & health priority in India.
The young cancer survivor group have been leading “Haqkibaat campaign” and asking their Mann Ki Baat to PM for a National Plan for Childhood cancer. A cancer awareness rally will leave for PMO on February 15, International Childhood Cancer Day from AIIMS to Lok Kalyan Marg.
Two cancer survivors from Uttar Pradesh Sandip Yadav (sarcoma survivor) and Vikas Yadav (Eye cancer survivor) made a video of how they won the fight against the deadly disease. “Our families had to uproot themselves and move to Mumbai for treatment. Why should where we are born decide whether we survive or not?”
A blood cancer survivor from Delhi and a Campaign Leader, Chandan Kumar said “If the developed world knows so much about how to cure and care for childhood cancer then why should we be denied because we live in India.”
Poonam Bagai, Chairman, Cankids organization said, “WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) has set a target of 60 per cent of Survival for Children with Cancer in Low Middle-Income Country like ours and to reduce the suffering for all children with cancer by 2030. In the high-income countries 80 per cent of children with cancer will survive but in the low- and middle-income countries, only 20 per cent of children will survive. This data reflects that we are in a serious war in the fight against cancer – childhood cancer is the low hanging fruit and its high time to have a National Childhood Cancer Plan and Policy to make it a health priority of India.”