The IAHPC is delighted to welcome new Institutional Members, and to introduce them to the membership.
In Honduras, where overall health is precarious, pediatric oncology treatment is not a national priority. In 1982, the Fundación Hondureña para el Niño con Cáncer: Salva Mi Vida responded to an obvious need by providing oncology diagnostic testing and medicine.
But it didn’t stop there.
The Foundation decided to support treatment in a comprehensive way to improve the overall quality of life of young patients with cancer. While striving to attain a 70% cure rate among the 360 or more cases diagnosed each year, the Foundation provides a holistic array of services, including:
And right now, the Foundation is planning a 22-bed pediatric hospice — a first for Honduras — in the capital, Tegucigalpa.
In 2017, the Foundation acquired a physical space for palliative patients within Hospital Escuela, but it is not ideal, as it is the same space for treatment of recently diagnosed patients whose hopes for a cure are great. That same year, home visits were begun.
‘Cancer is the second most common cause of death of children in Honduras,’ says Dr. Maria de los Angeles Mendoza, medical advisor to the Foundation. ‘There are many children and adolescents who require integrated support care in the early states, and palliative care in the advanced stages and at the end of life.’
‘We do not like knowing that we will die, we accept it when the person has reached the stage of old age, but when faced by a child or adolescent, it is a hard blow and its acceptance is difficult.’ A financial burden at this difficult time would be crippling for the majority of families, who come from very low socioeconomic strata, so the Foundation offers its services free of charge.
In this way, the Foundation aims to help reverse a ‘deteriorated quality of life without the minimum conditions of comfort that patients require in the final stages of life.’