Collaboration for success: the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer in Latin America

Vásquez et al.

The Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) aims to increase the cure rate for children with cancer globally by improving healthcare access and quality. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (St. Jude), and collaborators have joined efforts to improve outcomes of children with cancer in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) using the CureAll framework. In this article, we describe the process of developing regional resources aimed at accelerating the GICC implementation in LAC. In March 2021, PAHO formed regional working groups to develop core projects aligned with CureAll pillars and enablers. Seven working groups emerged from regional dialogues: early detection, nursing, psychosocial, nutrition, supportive care, treatment abandonment, and palliative care. PAHO arranged regular online meetings under the mentorship and support of St. Jude regional/transversal programs and international mentors. Between April and December 2021, 202 multidisciplinary experts attended 43 online meetings to promote the dialogue between stakeholders to improve childhood cancer outcomes. Fourteen technical outputs were produced: four regional snapshots, four technical documents, two virtual courses, one set of epidemiological country profiles, one educational content series for parents/caregivers, and two communication campaigns. The ongoing dialogue and commitment of PAHO, St. Jude, LAC working committees, and international collaborators are essential foundations to successfully accelerate GICC implementation. This is achievable through the development of materials of regional and global relevance. Further research and evaluation are needed to determine the impact of these strategies and resources on childhood cancer outcomes in LAC and other regions.

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Special report