Project information

Improve the odds for children in the Philippines

Over 300,000 children worldwide develop cancer each year. In the developed world, 80% will survive. In the developing world, as few as 10% will survive. We are working hard to change this. With better access to simple & inexpensive treatment, it is possible to improve survival rates to 50%+

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information: World Child Cancer UK

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  • Need


    There are about 1,000 cases of childhood cancer in Mindanao in the Philippines annually - but only 30% of cases are diagnosed. Survival rates are low because many children are diagnosed late due to low awareness about childhood cancer. Worse still, about 70% of patients abandon treatment. This is usually due to the financial & logistical pressures of long-term treatment. Mindanao is economically deprived and travel to the primary hospital in Davao City is too expensive & too far for most people.


    We will build the capacity of “satellite centres” around the island to diagnose & treat children – reducing the financial & travel burden for children and families - by further developing the Mindanao Paediatric Cancer Care Network (MPCCN). The Network aims to strengthen & expand referral networks for patients; build capacity of ‘home-grown teams’ in strategically chosen locations in Mindanao; and support staff costs to maintain services & improve access to care for more children on the island.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Further develop operational satellite centres to improve early diagnosis & access to treatment


    » We will fund salaries of key medical staff at the main project hospital, and a lead doctor, oncology nurse & data manager at each satellite centre.

    Each of our 4 satellite centres will be staffed with a lead doctor, oncology nurse and data manager. It is important to have this operational team for diagnosis, treatment & care.

    Aim 2

    Train frontline healthcare workers - doctors & nurses - to provide optimum care to young patients.


    » We will train 50 paediatric oncology nurses & doctors at the satellite centres to improve early diagnosis and referrals of childhood cancer patients.

    We will train at least 50 paediatric oncology nurses, doctors and database managers during the year from across our hub hospital and satellite centres.

    Aim 3

    Reduce abandonment rates from 70% to 50% on the island of Mindanao.


    » We will support a new day care centre at one our satellite centres, which will offer a safe place for patients and families to rest & recover.

    We will measure abandonment rates at 6-monthly intervals to monitor progress in encouraging families to pursue the full cycle of treatment for their children.

    Aim 4

    Fund direct patient support costs - including treatment and transport costs


    » We will support direct patient costs associated with providing treatment (e.g. chemotherapy drugs) and transport to the hospital / satellite centres.

    Through subsidising treatment and transport costs, we will remove a major barrier for children to access treatment, which will support the overall positive outcomes of the project

  • Impact


    Cancer survival rates for children in the Philippines are less than 20%, compared to 80% in developed countries. Our project will help to “improve the odds” by supporting the further development of specialist treatment centres in Mindanao. It will prove the case for replication in other regions, which will in time reduce the number of preventable deaths thanks to earlier diagnosis, treatment and care. Success will be measured through collection of baseline figures and bi-annual reporting.


    There is a risk that children who need us most are unable to access care. We have addressed this risk with satellite centres to reduce the travel burden. Patients arrive with cancers too advanced to be treated, due to lack of awareness about symptoms. Our project teams hold awareness events such as “Survivors Days” to increase the profile of childhood cancer to mitigate this risk. The government may further decrease public health budgets, we will continue to advocate for investment in children.


    We will contact each of our donors to understand how regularly, and in how much detail, they would like updates about the work that they are helping to support.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £39,201

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      Amount Heading Description
      £30,956 Funding doctors and nurses Key medical staff employed and operational at main project hospital and at all 4 satellite centres.
      £3,262 Training for staff At least 50 paediatric oncology nurses undertake training
      £4,983 Administration Telephone, internet, office supplies for main project hospital and satellite centres
  • Background


    The island region of Mindanao in the Philippines. 1 hospital (in Davao City) and 4 satellite centres. The Philippines has a population of 100 million+ and 1 in 4 people live below the poverty line. There are around 3,500 new cases of childhood cancer every year, most diagnosed only at advanced stages. Over 80% of patients live too far away from a treatment centre to access the care they need and many are forced to discontinue treatment due to high costs and travel challenges.


    All children diagnosed with cancer in the project hospital and satellite centres will benefit from improved patient care and greater support during their treatment. Families will benefit from a reduced financial burden, as they will not have to travel so far to take their child for diagnosis and treatment. Medical staff will benefit from specialised training, allowing them to enhance the service they provide and see positive results in childhood cancer diagnosis, treatment and care.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Childhood cancer is becoming an increasingly urgent problem in developing regions, and yet remains critically under-resourced by government and international healthcare funders. World Child Cancer has helped over 12,400 children with cancer to access diagnosis, treatment and care globally; provided training workshops for 3,000+ healthcare professionals; and recruited over 100 volunteer doctors and nurses. We have been working in the Philippines since 2009 with the leading cancer hospital.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Mae Dolondo

    Dr Mae Dolendo is the lead Paediatric Oncologist in Davao. Survival rates have increased dramatically since her arrival at the lead hospital in 2012


Just £400 can pay for a satellite centre for one month in the Philippines.

Doc Mae gives hope – to desperate and hopeless parents and to less-privileged patients. She could have opted for the financially and professionally rewarding first world medical practice. But, Doc Mae chose to serve where much of the action is - in a public hospital.

Jonathan Bayogan, the father of a 10 year old patient with leukaemia in Davao City.