AFRICA – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (St. Jude) is investing in the Global Platform for Access to Childhood Cancer Medicines (the Platform), a first-of-its-kind effort created in partnership with the WHO to provide an uninterrupted supply of quality-assured childhood cancer medicines to LMICs.

This investment includes approximately US$50 million directed to Africa, which will impact about 20,000 children and adolescents on the continent over a 5-year period, beginning in 2023.

In coordination with the WHO Africa Regional Office, St. Jude is identifying the first pilot countries across the African continent that will participate in the Platform.

Those countries will initially receive medicines at no cost as part of this initiative, the largest financial commitment for a global effort in childhood cancer medicines to-date.

This new Platform aims to provide safe and effective cancer medicines to approximately 120,000 children in 50 countries globally by 2027.

ACCO provides financial support for childhood cancer essential medicines

The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) will fund the development of an expanded African continental procurement policy to ensure the elimination of drug stock-outs, and the assurance of the affordability of medicines, stable treatment delivery, and equitable access to vital childhood cancer therapies throughout Africa.

The targeted countries include Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The work will kick off with a 2023 stakeholder meeting at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala, to inform policy-making toward optimizing cancer drug availability and affordability in an effort to improve childhood cancer outcomes in the region.

Global Pediatric to support pediatric brain cancer patients

Global Pediatric Brain Tumor Network implements a new initiative which aims to create an equitable ecosystem of care for pediatric brain cancer patients.

As part of the Global Pediatric Brain Tumor Network, Bayer, the National Brain Tumor Society, Duke University and other partners and institutions using technology from the NIH will enable hospitals across the continent of Africa to connect with U.S. hospitals and biomedical innovators.

This will help match pediatric patients to neuro-oncologists, clinical trials, potential treatments, and importantly to organizations that may be able to help close geographic, financial, and cultural barriers.

In order to achieve this outcome, cancer treatment centers in the United States will be connected with partner centers in countries in Africa as part of the global network to provide a continuum between clinical care and clinical research and also utilize a common digital platform for collaboration.

A key mission of the network is to generate high-quality clinical data at the partner centers and utilize the data to better understand factors that contribute to improved patient experience and patient outcomes.

Furthermore, the network also aims to contribute to the acceleration of new drug development by participating in multinational pediatric clinical trials and thereby enable earlier access to newer and more innovative therapies for patients in the United States, Africa, and other partner countries.

Texas to improve children’s cancer treatment

Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine launched Global HOPE (Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence) to improve the diagnosis and treatment of children with cancer and blood diseases.

Global HOPE is a capacity-building initiative to train African doctors and nurses to provide the needed expertise to improve overall survival of children with cancer and to carry on lifesaving work in a sustainable way.

Partnering with Ministries of Health and local academic medical institutions, and with an initial US$50 million investment from Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Global HOPE has established treatment and training centers in Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda, as well as programs in Rwanda and South Africa.

To date, Global HOPE has reached more than 15,000 children and trained nearly 5,900 healthcare workers, and received support from Direct Relief, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Sky High for Kids, and Lions Clubs International Foundation. Over the next five years, Global HOPE will develop a network of centers, training optimally staffed teams to provide care for children with cancer.

For all the latest healthcare industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube Channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.