Sandoz partnership with World Child Cancer

Partnership objectives 

Although in the developed world the chance of survival for children with cancer has improved significantly and is now close to 80%, in the developing world the picture is very different and survival rates can be as low as 10%. By expanding this partnership, Sandoz is helping increase access to essential medicines for children with cancer and contributing to improving childhood cancer survival rates, bringing them closer to those in the developed world.

Sandoz is expanding its partnership with World Child Cancer to improve access to cancer treatment in Ghana, Myanmar, Mexico and the Philippines. Sandoz is expanding its partnership with World Child Cancer to improve access to cancer treatment in Ghana, Myanmar, Mexico and the Philippines. Copyright Sandoz, Novartis

What are the health needs and challenges? 

Over 300,000 children worldwide develop cancer each year. If the illness is detected early enough, many of these children can be successfully treated.  80% of children with cancer in the developed world survive. However, in developing countries, survival rates can be as low as 10%.  The situation is worsened with many children often dying without access to palliative care.  World Child Cancer believes inequality in cancer treatment should not exist and that every child, regardless of where they live, should receive the very best possible treatment and care.

In the countries where WCC works, accessing healthcare services is a huge challenge for the general population. The problems are multiple and complex but typically include: 

  • Late diagnosis
  • Limited access to specialist and multidisciplinary care and facilities
  • Lack of efficient healthcare support
  • Socio-economic barriers
  • Cultural beliefs
  • Treatment abandonment

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges 

In the countries where World Child Cancer works, there is a huge challenge for the general population accessing healthcare services, with problems typically including late diagnosis, limited access to specialist and multidisciplinary care and facilities, lack of efficient healthcare support, socio-economic barriers, cultural beliefs and treatment abandonment.  

World Child Cancer works to improve diagnosis, treatment and support for children with cancer and their families.  They achieve this through the partnerships between hospitals, doctors and nurses in the developing world and the developed world, and operate a unique twinning model that focuses on local capacity building, empowering and training local healthcare professionals to develop locally appropriate, scalable and sustainable solutions through:  

  • Seed funding projects for five years; 
  • Integrating sustainability plans; and 
  • Building capacity in local healthcare systems  

Sandoz provides a donation that helps to fund activities that build local healthcare system capacity, in particular, enabling them to establish healthcare partnerships to build capacity and implement locally agreed plans to develop this model and enhance access to treatment and care. Through these partnerships valuable expertise and knowledge is shared between hospitals in developed and developing countries in order to build the capacity and knowledge of local doctors and nurses.  

Summary of impact and forward looking information 

In Year 1 (2016-2017) Sandoz ran a pilot with World Child Cancer, providing a donation to support work in the Philippines where access to healthcare is a big challenge for much of the population.  With this donation Sandoz supported the development of specialist cancer treatment centers in the island region of Mindanao where 1,000 cases of childhood cancer are expected annually. The centers increased capacity in the region, supporting the training and professional development of local healthcare professionals so that they can offer the best care and treatment possible. World Child Cancer estimates that due to this support, the number of patients newly diagnosed with cancer was 351.  In Mindanao, 130 children were diagnosed who might not otherwise have received a diagnosis. In Davao specifically, over 60% (78) of these children are alive today because of this vital work.   

In 2017-2018 Sandoz will expand the pilot to a program that supports projects in Ghana, Myanmar, Mexico, as well as continuing to support the Philippines.  Each program has slightly different needs, but we will continue to focus on capacity building activities based on the success of the Philippines project.


Sandoz: Increasing access to high-quality care

Partnership information

Company(ies) Sandoz, a Novartis Division

Partner(s) World Child Cancer

Type of Partner(s) NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases, Women and Children's Health

Disease(s) Cancer, Childhood Cancers, Children's Health, Leukemia

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Outreach & Medical Services, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Children

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

Number of Countries 4

Country(ies) Ghana, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines

Start Date 2017

More information Sandoz: Making Access happen Media Release

Anticipated completion date Ongoing