Childhood Cancer – Statistics

Situation analysis for childhood cancer in Tanzania

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer currently cause 63 per cent of all disease related deaths worldwide and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that deaths from NCDs will increase by a further 17 per cent in the next decade. In Africa, that number will jump by 24 per cent. “Non-communicable diseases are a threat to development.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon told the opening session of a landmark General Assembly meeting on NCDs in September 2011, “NCDs hit the poor and vulnerable particularly hard… with millions of families pushed into poverty each year when a member becomes too weak to work or when the costs of medicines and treatment overwhelm the family budget.”

Tanzania is the only country in Sub Saharan Africa that has pledged to make cancer care and treatment free for all patients. The Government, through the MoHSW, has developed a National Cancer Control Strategy (NCCS) that aims to implement a comprehensive and responsive cancer control program integrated into the existing health care delivery system.

With an estimated population of 45 million people, Tanzania would expect to see as many as 2,300 new cases of childhood cancer each year. Sadly, many children go to Hospital too late for treatment to be effective. Muhimbili National Hospital received new cases around 400, Bugando Medical Centre around 200 and Mbeya Referral around 50 cases annually (2012) A number of different factors work together to delay their presentation at the cancer wards.

Challenges Facing Childhood Cancer in Tanzania

  • Lack of Childhood Cancer awareness
  • Late presentation – 3-6 months delay
  • Lack of Specialist drugs, medicine & supplies
  • Shortage of specialist staff (Nurses, H.A)
  • No Tanzanian Paediatric Oncologist to date
  • Limited non clinical facilities (family support)
  • 3months to 1 year stay in the hospital

How Your Support Can Help

  • 10,000-25,000 – will pay for the cost to run Daily School for 10 kids p day
  • 30,000 – 50,000 – will pay for Special nutritional Diet for 10 kids per week
  • 60,000 – 100,000 – will pay for special investigation for 3 kids with cancer
  • 150,000 – 250,000 – will pay travel cost of 3 kids to return to the hospital
  • 300,000 – 500,000 – will pay for essential chemotherapy drugs for a child
  • Tsh 20,000,000 Funds to run projects to benefit 200 children
  • Tshs 50, 000,000 Funds to buy medicine for 200 children
  • Volunteers to help the children in the hospital schools
  • 200 -Text & Story Books for Primary level children
  • Outdoor games & toys for the children
  • Educational games like puzzles, Lego
  • Children & adult clothes, shoes, toiletries, khanga
  • More information is on our strategic plan and budget for 2014