Improving Diagnosis and Treatment for Childhood Cancer

Partnership objective

This partnership aims to support World Child Cancer in its mission to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment and support for children across the developing world and their families.

Celgene support World Child Cancer in its mission to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment and care for children across the developing world. Celgene support World Child Cancer in its mission to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment and care for children across the developing world. Copyright World Child Cancer

 What are the health needs and challenges?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year, more than 150,000 children are diagnosed with cancer while the International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that 300,000 children worldwide actually develop cancer. This disease touches all regions of the world and impacts countless families and communities. With access to quality care, more than 80% of children with cancer can survive, living full and healthy lives. However, many children in low-income and middle income countries do not receive or complete care, and, as a result, over 90% of childhood cancer deaths occur in low resource settings.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Under the umbrella of the WeCare program, Celgene has become a corporate sponsor of World Child Cancer, whose mission is to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment and support for children in the developing world. This organization supports children with cancer in developing countries through its network of international hospitals and volunteer specialists with teams on the ground. World Child Cancer is one of the few organizations involved in the twinning of international hospitals and volunteer specialists with teams on the ground. Current projects exist is Bangladesh, Malawi, Ghana, Myanmar, Mexico Philippines and Cameroon in addition to a collaborative Wilms Tumor project in sub-Saharan Africa.

The partnership that Celgene has built with World Child Cancer since 2011 goes beyond financial donations. For example, Celgene UK/Ireland has been involved in a sponsored walk, donated to raffles and participated in a bike-a-thon. Celgene has been recognized by World Child Cancer as its official corporate sponsor, and was featured in the Financial Times newspaper campaign as its charity of choice during the Annual Seasonal Appeal in December 2013.

The WeCare program includes a specific initiative for World Child Cancer called Box-a-Bear, where Celgene collects teddy bears/soft toys and sends them to children’s hospitals in developing countries. This initiative and the quantities of donations are continuously advertised to the employees at the UK affiliate, and to date more than 3,200 bears have been donated.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

World Child Cancer UK is a charitable trust registered with the Charity Commission in the UK that was founded in 2007. World Child Cancer US is the sister charity based in the US. Together, their mission is to improve the rate of diagnosis, accessibility of treatment and quality of support for children with cancer, and their families, in the developing world.

World Child Cancer builds and funds partnerships which link together hospitals in the developing world with childhood cancer units in developed countries. Many of the world's leading hospitals, including St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital in the US, and Royal Victoria Infirmary and University College Hospital in the UK, as well as doctors and nurses give their time for free – training healthcare professionals around the world where they are needed most. This voluntary medical aid enables World Child Cancer to fund vital services and tools to ensure children and their families receive the support they need.

Some of World Child Cancer’s recent successes include:

  • Support for over 12,400 children. In 2015, they supported almost 4,000 children and trained 1,500 healthcare professionals.
  • Providing follow-up support to 95% of young patients in Cameroon to ensure they adhere to their treatments and seek medical advice when necessary. 
  • In 2015, working with partners in Malawi, 250 children were diagnosed with cancer – up from just 80 in 2009. 
  • Laying the foundations for their first Family Homestay in Cameroon which will enable parents to stay on the hospital site whilst their child is being treated. 
  • Launching a palliative care programme in Bangladesh for children with cancer who cannot be cured.
  • Opening their first Hospital School – the Heroes School – so children in Myanmar can continue with their education whilst receiving treatment.
  • Launching their first Social Enterprise project, working with the Parent Support Groups in Cameroon and Ghana to develop income-generating activities to support families whilst they are at the hospital for long periods.

Measurement of progress towards objectives

Estimated overall value of partnership:

Since 2011, Celgene has contributed over £500K to support World Child Cancer Programs.

Estimated amount of people impacted:

In 2015, World Child Cancer helped 3,911 children and 1,500 healthcare professionals attended training.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Celgene

Partner(s) World Child Cancer

Type of Partner(s) NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Cancer

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Financial Support, Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing, Health System Infrastructure - Development of Physical Infrastructure, Health System Infrastructure - Outreach & Medical Services, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Children

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Latin America & Caribbean, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 7

Country(ies) Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Malawi, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines

Start Date 2011

More information Celgene Global Health Partnerships

Anticipated completion date Ongoing