The Need of the Hour: Uniting to Conquer Childhood Cancer

Doctors at Manipal Hospitals call for awareness

BENGALURU, India , Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Every year, over 400,000 children and adolescents worldwide are diagnosed with cancer. While the survival rate in High-Income Countries stands at 80%, it drops drastically to as low as 20% in Low and Middle-Income Countries. On International Childhood Cancer Day 2024, renowned oncologist, Dr. Neelesh Reddy, Consultant – Medical Oncologist, Manipal Hospital Yeshwanthpur, highlights the urgency of addressing this stark contrast: “The Target Goal of the WHO Global Childhood Cancer Initiative aims to achieve at least 60% survival for all children diagnosed with cancer around the world by 2030, representing a need for an approximate doubling of the current cure rate and saving an additional one million children over the next decade.”

Dr. Neelesh Reddy, Consultant – Medical Oncologist, Manipal Hospital Yeshwanthpur (PRNewsfoto/Manipal Hospitals)

Speaking about the paediatric cancer scenario in India, Dr. Vinay Munikoty Venkatesh, Consultant – Paediatric Haematology and BMT, Manipal Hospital Yeshwanthpur, says “In India alone, more than 75,000 new childhood cancers are diagnosed each year. However, the bright side of childhood cancers are that ‘it is curable’ with excellent outcomes if diagnosed early and treated appropriately. However, the discrepancy in the cure rates in the High-Income Countries and the Middle and Low-Income countries, highlights the fact that, currently the outcome of a child with cancer depends on the place they are being treated. We need to ‘close the gap in care’ particularly childhood cancers.”

On International Childhood Cancer Day 2024, marked by a theme of ‘Unveiling Challenges,’ both doctors shed light on the obstacles hindering effective childhood cancer care. Dr. Reddy emphasizes the need for increased awareness and investment in research and infrastructure development and says, “We need to increase awareness among the general population and invest a huge sum in research and infrastructure development.” Dr. Munikoty outlines the main challenges faced in childhood cancer care, including delay in diagnosis, lack of robust referral systems, social and cultural barriers, financial hurdles, abandonment of treatment, and limited access to advanced therapies. He stresses, “Every child has the right to obtain effective and standard cancer treatment. This is possible only if clinical services are accessible and affordable. United we stand, dedicated we treat, we can cure all.”

The team of doctors at Manipal Hospital Yeshwanthpur, underscore their commitment to providing the required expertise, infrastructure, compassion, and unwavering support to children and families battling cancer. Together, they call for global collaboration and collective action to ensure every child has equal access to the best treatment and care.

About Manipal Hospitals:

As a pioneer in healthcare, Manipal Hospitals is among the top healthcare providers in India serving over 5 million patients annually. Its focus is to develop an affordable, high-quality healthcare framework through its multispecialty and tertiary care delivery spectrum and further extend it to out-of-hospital care. With the completion of the acquisition of AMRI Hospitals, the integrated network will have a pan-India footprint of 33 hospitals across 17 cities with 9,500 beds, a talented pool of over 5,000 doctors, and an employee strength of over 20,000.

Manipal Hospitals provides comprehensive curative and preventive care for a multitude of patients from around the globe. Manipal Hospitals is NABH, and AAHRPP accredited and most of the hospitals in its network are NABL, ER, and Blood Bank accredited and recognized for Nursing Excellence. Manipal Hospitals has also been recognized the most respected and patient-recommended hospital in India through various consumer surveys.

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Dr. Vinay Munikoty Venkatesh, Consultant – Paediatric Haematology and BMT, Manipal Hospital Yeshwanthpur (PRNewsfoto/Manipal Hospitals)

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