Addressing childhood cancer: actions taken in the Dominican Republic

Gómez García et al.

This report provides a summary of childhood cancer and the efforts made in the Dominican Republic to address child and adolescent cancer in line with the World Health Organization’s Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer. Information was obtained by review of recent local and international literature on pediatric oncology. As a result of the Global Initiative, a meeting was held by the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America to support the development of national pediatric cancer plans for each country. The objectives of these plans are to improve overall survival and quality of care for children with cancer through early detection, diagnosis, and treatment. In the Dominican Republic, several steps have been taken in the past 5 years to enhance diagnosis and care of children with cancer. For example, the National Committee of Childhood Cancer, headed by the Ministry of Public Health and including relevant stakeholders, was established to develop the national childhood cancer plan. In addition, a campaign was launched to raise awareness of childhood cancer, and the first early detection manual and public policy on child and adolescent cancer were published. A government initiative has been working to improve the hospital infrastructure and expand the pediatric cancer center, and a national course on early detection of pediatric cancers has been held. In 2023, the National Strategic Childhood Cancer Plan 2023–2030 was launched in the Dominican Republic. The plan will help policy-makers, implementers, researchers, and advocates enhance diagnosis and care of children with cancer.

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Special report