IHP's partner, World Child Cancer has been supporting children with cancer in Malawi since 2009 at the Paediatric Oncology Unit (POU) at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre.
Around 30% of Malawi’s annual cases are diagnosed at this hospital in the south of the country and as well as providing direct support to patients and their families, World Child Cancer delivers training to bring local, regional and international experts together to share skills.
In Malawi, the high cost of public transport has made access to hospitals more problematic in particular, and the increased costs of food and general living expenses on top of treatment-related costs has placed further strain on the families of children with cancer.
Through IHP's donation, the Paediatric Oncology Unit has been able to support over 300 children. All of IHP's medicines are distributed free of charge, helping to relieve some of the economic pressure associated with treatment for parents and guardians of children with cancer.
One of these was Hope Nyondo, whose mother, Cynthia, a single parent of four, works extremely hard to care for her children. Hope's diagnosis not only dealt a blow to Cynthia emotionally, but financially too.
"My child changed and was just crying for a month. I took him to Nguludi hospital where they referred me here,” Cynthia said. Hope was referred to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital where he was found to have a cancer which is now being treated.
Cynthia survives and provides for her family through her small scale business but is no longer able to work since she is in the hospital with Hope. Thankfully, Cynthia does not need to worry about the added cost of Hope's treatment.
“I am happy that my child is improving compared to how he was when we just came in. I pray that those who have been helping with medicines should continue so that others like me can continue getting the much need assistance which we can’t afford because of the associated cost.”
- Hope Nyondo's mother, Cynthia -
IHP's work to provide donated medicine free at the point of use to patients, is critical in ensuring that children like Hope can access the medicine they need, and removing some of the agonising burden on families of children with cancer.