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Project information

Improving Childhood Cancer Treatment in Ghana

Childhood cancer can be treated successfully at affordable costs. This project focuses on increasing the survival rate of children with cancer in Ghana. With early detection and improved access to treatment, there is a lot we can do reduce child mortality from cancer in Ghana.

September 2010 - September 2015

Charity information: Africa Oxford Cancer Foundation (AfrOx)

Africa Oxford Cancer Foundation (AfrOx) logo
  • Need


    Childhood cancer has emerged as a leading cause of mortality, as infection risks eg HIV, TB, Malaria & Pneumonia are being better controlled. Childhood cancer, especially Burkitt lymphoma, can be treated successfully with at least 50% cure rates. Wilms’ tumour and retinoblastoma can also be treated successfully at affordable costs. With early detection and improved access to treatment, we can do a lot to help reduce child mortality from cancer.


    AfrOx is supporting the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra as part of a 5 year programme to improve childhood cancer survival rates in Ghana.This programme will contribute funding to make drugs more affordable for families; help raise awareness of the signs & symptoms of childhood cancers to promote early diagnosis;and it will provide training for medical staff in the unit.We have set up a partnership with the Royal Hospital for Sick Children,Edinburgh& they will provide mentoring and training.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    This project aims to improve childhood cancer survival rates in Accra, Ghana.


    » Provide funding for the purchase of medication to make treatment affordable for more families; buying medical equipment; training & retaining staff.
    » Provide training courses for doctors and nurses on identifying signs and symptoms of childhood cancer; providing treatment and palliative care.
    » Assist in raising public awareness of the signs & symptoms of childhood cancer to encourage early detection & diagnosis.

    What success will look like

    Success will mean an increase in community awareness of childhood cancer, reduction of diagnostic delay, improved survival rates and reduction in abandonment of treatment.

  • Impact


    The goal of this project is to improve the diagnosis and management of childhood cancers in Ghana; and to increase in survival rates to over 50% and to significantly reduce treatment abandonment. We will also focus on making the general public, health workers and policymakers in Ghana more informed about childhood cancers, thus leading to earlier recognition and prompt referral to appropriate care for suspected cases.


    The main risk is that funds could be used inappropriately. We will prevent this by closely supervising the use of funds.The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has agreed that the funds will be protected and no overheads deducted. A quarterly progress report will be requested, covering financial and operational progress & this will be analysed by AfrOx's & World Child Cancer's accountants.Progress will also be analysed during the bi-annual training & monitoring visit by the team from AfrOx and Edinburgh.


    Donors will receive the AfrOx newsletter, including case studies and photos about the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £200,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 Medicine and medical equipment Fund to support cost of medication for patients & buy medical equipment
      £37,500 Training Cost of providing training workshops in Ghana
      £25,000 Medical Staff Ghana Staff training salary supplement for doctors and nurses to encourage staff retention
      £37,500 Programme Management AfrOx project managers will organise training programmes and conduct monitoring and evaluation

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    World Child Cancer £75,000 Guaranteed
    British Council £30,000 Guaranteed
    Roche £20,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Ghana, like many other developing countries, has witnessed a rapid change in many aspects of life during the last two decades. Most of these have been for the good, leading to an increased life expectancy in Ghanaians but it has also brought its share of problems - one of them being the increasing cancer cases in the country. At present, Ghana has only 2 oncology centres, one in the capital Accra and one in Kumasi. There are only 4 oncologists in Ghana and only 1 is a paediatric oncologist.


    Ghana has 8 million children under 14 (38% of population). For Ghana you would expect over 640 - 1200 new childhood cancer cases a year. In Ghana, doctors see about 180 cases of childhood cancer a year (50% under 5 years). The number of children undiagnosed with no access to cure or palliative care is thus considerable (70-80% currently).

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    AfrOx was set up by Rt Hon Alan Milburn (former UK Secretary of State for Health) and David Kerr, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford. AfrOx’s mission is to partner with African countries and assist them with implementing comprehensive cancer care plans. AfrOx is currently working in Ghana on a range of projects to improve cancer care in the country and has also partnered with World Child Cancer on this project.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Professor Tim Eden, AfrOx Paediatric Advisor - Volunteer & Primary Lead For The Project

    Professor Tim Eden has considerable expertise in developing paediatric cancer twinning projects (for example in Bangladesh & Malawi).

    Dr Lorna Renner, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana - Partner

    Dr Lorna Renner is the Ghana Coordinator.She is the only paediatric oncologist in Ghana&she trained at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh.

    Dr Emma Johnson, Royal Hospital For Sick Children, Edinburgh - Volunteer

    Staff volunteers from Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh will provide training & mentoring support to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana.

    Ms Vanita Sharma And Mr Stewart Kerr, AfrOx - Staff

    AfrOx Project Managers - they will manage this programme, organise the workshops and conduct monitoring and evaluation.

Childhood Cancer Patient in Ghana

Childhood Cancer Patient in Ghana


could give vital medicine for a child with cancer

AfrOx works as a real partner aiming to improve whatever we have identified as our areas of need.

Dr Lorna Renner, Consultant Paediatrician, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra