5th August, 2022
The Chief Medical Officer, represented by the Director of Curative Service, Ministry of Health, Dr. Omar Ubuguyu official launched a Global HOPE Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Program in Tanzania at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS).
In this event the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) congratulated the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Muhimbili National Hospital and Global HOPE Texas Children Hospital for this program that focuses on improving survival of children with cancer and blood disorders in Tanzania through training, strengthening health care infrastructure, improving access to necessary drugs and supplies and increasing awareness of pediatric cancer and blood disorders.
Speaking on the impact of cancer and blood disorders on children in Tanzania, the CMO said approximately 800 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. “Considering the fact that 90% of children diagnosed with cancer survive in high-income countries, the government is making great efforts to ensure that children diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders in Tanzania receive appropriate treatment to optimize survival” he added.
According to the MUHAS Vice Chancellor, Prof. Andrea Pembe, throughout the year the University have managed to acquire several collaborations nationally and internationally. Currently, he said MUHAS has a total number of 110 collaborators including Global HOPE program which is special since it is focusing mostly in building long term capacity to treat and improve the prognosis for children with cancers and blood disorder.
Speaking on the behalf of Texas Children Hospital, the Director of Global HOPE Program, Prof. David Poplack thanked MUHAS, MNH and the Ministry of Health Tanzania for this momentous event and said that Global HOPE Program is proud to be associated with Tanzania’s prominent Medical Institutions that are the engine for numerous interventions and policies that have transformed the plight of people of Tanzania and Africa at large.
Global HOPE program in Tanzania is a collaboration of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) and is led by Dr. Lulu Chirande, a Lecturer and Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist under the MUHAS department of Paediatrics and Child Health.
According to Dr. Chirande, the problem of blood cancer in children is very big, not only in this country but all over the world where it is estimated that more than three hundred thousand children get cancer each year. She further said that majority of children with cancer (80 – 90%) live in low and middle income countries such as Tanzania. Therefore, even a minimum effort of improving the outcome of at least 30 to 50 percent of children with cancer and other blood disorders in in this part of the world, will have a huge impact as compared to the number of children that are currently cured in the world.