Improve cancer care for 250 children in Malawi

Jun 2, 2014

Improving cancer care for children in Malawi

Dear supporters

290 children were treated last year, meaning the project exceeded its original annual target of 250.

Phase 2 of the Malawi project at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital is now well under way.

The project is making excellent progress under the leadership of Professor Molyneux. Here are some of the activities of the last five months:

  • Training for a future Malawian lead in South Africa
  • Regular twinning support and training for local staff
  • Ongoing patient and family support in the unit
  • Continuing follow-up visits by a clinical officer on a motorbike
  • Planning underway for an outpatient paediatric oncology facility
  • Rapid diagnosis confirmation by email link with the team in Newcastle, UK

There is still so much the team can do to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment and care for children in Malawi. Here are some of our objectives:

  • Increase nursing capacity
  • Establish an outpatient facility at QECH
  • Support patients through drug supplementation, welcome packs and follow-up
  • Continue healthcare and community awareness campaigns
  • Handover of the QECH unit to a Malawian paediatric oncologist

Thank you for your ongoing support. You are enabling significant improvements to be made to childhood cancer care in Malawi. The project could not continue like this without your support.

Please continue your support so we can help to treat more children in Malawi.

Best wishes

World Child Cancer team


Feb 26, 2014

Malawian Child Cancer Project Report

Toys for patients from a corporate supporter
Toys for patients from a corporate supporter

Hello supporters!

Our project in Malawi reached the end of its first 5 year phase of funding in December 2013. We are now concentrating on Phase 2 of the Malawi project at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre.

Some highlights from the first 5 years of operation are:

  • An increase in the number of patients newly diagnosed each year, from 200 in 2009 to nearly 300 in 2013
  • Improvements in long-term survival rates - now at 60% for some malignancies such as Burkitt lymphoma
  • A decrease in the number of patients refusing or abandoning treatment due to increased financial support, an emphasis on social support on the ward and active follow-up of patients
  • Improvements in the provision of palliative care for children with incurable cancers
  • Increase in the speed and accuracy of diagnosis thanks to a microscope camera linked online with the twinning team in Newcastle
  • Provision of the first government paid nurse on the ward
  • Collaboration with several other units in Africa to initiate a regional Wilms' tumour treatment protocol and network
  • Sustaining a strong and growing relationship with the twinning partners in both Newcastle and Amsterdam
  • Capacity building through regular staff training and mentoring on the unit
  • Succession planning of the unit leadership through the current specialist training of a Malawian Paediatric Oncologist in South Africa.

The progress made over the last 5 years is staggering, and with the new phase of project planned we aim to implement the following acitvities:

  • Development of shared care and collaboration with other units in Malawi
  • Provide a day care unit for children to receive out-patient chemotherapy safely
  • Build a home-from-home facility for patient's families to stay in during treatment
  • Develop a multi-disciplinary neuro-oncology service
  • Increase the nursing capacity to allow for the service developments
  • Continued patient support for drugs, transport, food
  • Ongoing training and mentoring of local staff
  • Increase awareness campaigns to continue reaching more children with cancer across the country
  • Use of more intensive / complex protocols to increase the survival rate for more malignancies

Without the support of our funders and volunteers the continuation of this project in its new phase of funding would not be possible.

Thank you for your dedication to helping these children and please continue your support so that we can reach more children with cancer in Malawi.

Microscope camera for faster diagnostics
Microscope camera for faster diagnostics
Patients in the play area of the ward at QECH
Patients in the play area of the ward at QECH


Dec 6, 2013

Improve cancer care for 250 children in Malawi

Hello Supporters!

We are really pleased to say that our project in Malawi continues to make lots of progress and more and more children are receiving treatment for cancer.

Our CEO recently visited the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre to see for herself exactly where money gets spent. She was amazed at the positivity of all the staff and patients and thrilled to see World Child Cancer's funds making such a difference to the lives of children with cancer. She reported that not only are chemotherapy drugs and equipment in short supply but even basics such as lightbulbs and paper are very hard to come by.

On her visit she was accompanied by a journalist from the Financial Times newspaper who was reporting on the project as part of the Financial Times Seasonal Appeal of which World Child Cancer is the beneficiary. The journalist was also amazed to see how the project works and truly impressed to see that such a little amount of money goes a long way. In particular he found the story of Mr Banda, the hospital outreach worker very inspiring. Mr Banda works for the hospital and travels to patients in remote areas for follow-up appointments. Quite often, these patients would not be able to attend follow-up appointments because of the high cost of travel to the hospital. In some cases this can mean that signs of the cancer returning are not detected and so further treatment cannot be offered. World Child Cancer, together with Mr Banda and your support means that the hospital travels to the patients to ensure that as many children as possible remain free of cancer after treatment.

The full article from the Financial Times along with a video can be seen here:

THANK YOU once again to all of our amazing supporters for allowing us to continue helping these children in Malawi!


Sep 16, 2013

Malawian child cancer project

Our project in Malawi continues to progress well and we are pleased that more children continue to be treated.

It is down to supporters like you that we can continue this project so a big Thank You!

One of our corporate supporters recently sent out some toys to the children's cancer ward in the hospital at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and the children and their families were thrilled to receive these.

We are also pleased to say that as a result of lobbying the Malawian Ministry of Health, the Malawian government is now funding another nurse who is based on the children's cancer ward. This means more resource to look after the children and administer drugs. It is also a step towards self-sufficiency.

The medics from the hospitals twinned with Malawi, who are based in Amsterdam and Newcastle, are working with Professor Elizabeth Molyneux in Malawi to improve treatment protocols to be able to treat more complex malignancies.

Finally, we are looking to expand our work across Malawi through supporting the project for a further 5 years. We would look to open satellite centres of the main teaching hospital in different parts of Malawi so that children from around the country can access treatment, rather than those who live near the current hospital in Blantyre.

Please let us know if you would like any further information, otherwise we look forward to updating you in the coming months with more news of the project. 

THANK YOU once again to all of our amazing supporters for allowing us to continue helping these children in Malawi!

May 16, 2013

Malawian Child Cancer Project Report

Patients with the play lady
Patients with the play lady

We visited the project at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Malawi last month and were really pleased to see that progress continues to be made. 

The ward is looking lovely and the children are very well looked after - they have a full-time play lady called Betty who shares the toys amongst the children and helps to entertain them during their long hospital stay.

We also had the pleasure of taking many donated gifts out to the patients on the ward - some fantastic blankets knitted especially for the children along with some new toys for them to play with. Please visit our website and social media sites to see the pictures!

It was great to see how well the team on the ward works to improve the lives of these children, and how they are improving survival rates year-on-year.

Soon the team are planning on implementing a higher intensity protocol to be able to treat more patients with leukemia, with better outcomes. There are also further training sessions planned for the nurses and other staff to continue improving their knowledge and developing their careers.

Next year we are hoping to continue working in Malawi for a new project phase and to support the local team to further develop the services for children with cancer in the country.


THANK YOU to all of our amazing supporters for allowing us to continue helping these children in Malawi!


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Project Leader

Rebecca Ross

London, Greater London United Kingdom

Where is this project located?

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