On September 28th, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the launch of the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer. The program is based on the premise that cancer is the leading cause of death among children worldwide. The program encourages the dialogue between the public and private sector to expand the capacities of the health system in this issue. In order to achieve it, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the WHO Collaborating Center will work together with member states as of 2019 to improve early diagnosis tools and the availability of drugs and technologies.
WHO is expected to collaborate with member states to establish and prioritize cancer diagnosis and treatment programs. Also, it will seek to integrate childhood cancer into national strategies and social insurance plans.
WHO estimates that the lack of equipment and trained personnel to prevent and care for children, coupled with the high cost of treatment, makes governments need external assistance to meet the threat posed by cancer. This situation means that low- and middle-income countries have indicators that are four times worse than those in high-income countries.