Cancer is not just a problem in Europe or America. For many people in low and middle income countries (the developing world) there is no treatment or supportive care available. While many problems in low and income countries are related to poor sanitation (dirty water and lack of sewage systems) and malnutrition as these problems are being overcome more people are developing cancer.
For a quick overview of the scale of the problem have a read of Programme for Action for Cancer Therapy – “Cancer Crisis“. Oxford University have a very interesting series of podcasts on cancer in the developing world, called “Science Live ” They have detailed interviews with UK doctors, working overseas to provide treatment and care for people, especially children. These interviews are well worth a listen to.
Several doctors and charities in the North East of Scotland have links to Health Services and Hospitals in Nepal. One of these is the Lossiemouth Charity called “The Nepal Trust” In October 2008 several North East GP’s went to a remote area of Nepal to help establish basic health care. You can read more about this trip on pages 6 & 7 of the 2008 Nepal Trust Newsletter. Dr David Hurman, from the department of Oncology at ARI also accompanied the GP’s on this trip and is a founder of Baaktapur Cancer Care Centre also in Nepal.
The Baaktapur Cancer Care Centre is just one of the centres supported by the UK charity INCTR, which help provides cancer treatment and palliative care in developing countries all over the world. A small donation can make a big difference. £120 can fund a cancer care nurse in Africa for one year.
Another charity working with children with cancer in the developing world is the World Child Cancer Foundation and there is a UK charity called Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund that helps fund treatment for children with retinoblastoma in the developing world.
Have you heard of any of these charities or supported their work? Please feel free to leave your comments below. Thanks