Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation has today launched the second annual Childhood Cancer Charity Walk that seeks to raise Kshs. 10M in a bid to improve proper cancer diagnosis and treatment in children.

Slated for June 28, 2020, this year’s walk seeks to train at least two teachers in primary schools neighbouring Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital clinics, sensitise frontline health workers and lab technicians on the early signs of cancer in children and provide treatment to children diagnosed with cancer from needy families.

“This initiative is driven by the fact that with appropriate early diagnosis and treatment protocols that are risk and response adapted, more than 80 per cent of children with cancer can be cured and given an opportunity to live a normal life. Unfortunately, most of us are not aware that signs and symptoms of childhood cancer are non-specific and are easily confused with other tropical infectious diseases or haematological conditions,” said Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation Manager Dr. Carol Waweru.

Speaking during the stakeholders briefing meeting, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Cancer Institute under the Ministry of Health, Dr. Alfred Karagu, hailed the initiative by the Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation adding that this project comes at the opportune time where Kenya National Cancer Control Strategy 2017-2022 is being implemented.

This year’s walk will be flagged off at the University of Nairobi grounds and targets over 1,000 participants including corporate teams.

The World Health Organisation lists cancer as a leading cause of death for children. Children with cancer in low- and middle-income countries are about 4 times more likely to die of cancer than children in high-income countries.

Some of the reasons include not having the illness diagnosed, not having access to affordable treatment and supportive care, or to, health professionals with specialized training. 80 per cent of children with cancer in developed countries are successfully treated while survival rate in developing countries is at 30 per cent.