Advocacy Task Force
Advocacy is central to the vision of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) which is that “no child should die of cancer.” It is directly in line with target 4A of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which is “to reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.”
Despite much of the progress made in the past 15 years, however, the UN MDG to drastically cut childhood mortality rates by two-thirds by 2015 are unlikely to be achieved. SIOP has a critical and important role in contributing towards the reduction of infant and child mortality:
- by leading the campaign, in partnership with different stakeholders, to raise awareness and build a global momentum mobilizing communities worldwide to be involved in the global fight against childhood cancer;
- by making childhood cancer better understood by the general public, general practitioners and allied health professionals;
- by educating and influencing key opinion leaders to address childhood cancer in their communities;
- by educating legislators to enact appropriate policies that could benefit childhood cancer communities such as lobbying for change in government policy on childhood cancer research and treatment;
- by advocating for appropriate long term care and follow-up for survivors;
- by producing relevant resources (e.g., “Best Practices” and case studies) that tell a story of childhood cancer encouraging a movement to achieve the vision of SIOP.
- by working together with organizations such as the WHO, ICCCPO and other sister NGOs to achieve the above described contributions.
The Task Force, appointed by the President of SIOP, is comprised of a small but active group of SIOP leaders committed to advocacy and represents the different regions where the society (i.e., SIOP) has members. In line with the mission and vision of the society, the objective of the Task Force is to ensure that each child and young adult with cancer has access to state-of-the art treatment and care; and, to support family and friends caring for children and young adults with cancer by providing the best curative and palliative therapies.
The Task Force is comprised of the following experts:
- Gabriele Calaminus, Head of Global Advocacy and SIOP Immediate Past-President
- Mariana Kruger, Immediate Past – President, SIOP Africa
- Akira Nakagawara, President, SIOP Asia
- Rachel Hollis, Nursing Representative
- Ruth Hoffman Childhood Cancer International (former ICCCPO) Advocacy Representative
- Ramandeep Arora, Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC) Representative
Each year, more than 250,000 children worldwide are diagnosed with cancer while an estimated 90,000 die from the disease. While eighty percent (80%) of children with cancer survive in wealthier countries, the reality is vastly different for those in poorer countries where 90% of all children with cancer die. Lack of access to good quality, essential medicines, early diagnosis and timely treatment and care are three major reasons why children with cancer in developing countries often do not survive.