There are few things more frightening to a parent than receiving a cancer diagnosis for their child. The idea of losing those we love most is devastating, and rightly so. Thankfully, with the medical advances that have been made over recent years, most children with cancer have encouraging prognoses, allowing them to heal over time.
Sadly, in Pakistan only half of child cancer patients receive the diagnosis they need to begin treatment. Not only that, but many of them are left untreated due to lack of support from healthcare systems that aren’t equipped to handle expensive cancer treatments.
Why is This Happening?
Pakistan has less available healthcare options than many countries, leaving children with cancer to be left untreated. This is due to the country’s low income and therefore lack of spending power to devote to these important issues.
Cancer treatment is expensive and requires the oversight of specially trained doctors — or Oncologists — to perform necessary procedures.
Pakistan is trying to do better in this regard: the Pakistan Society of Pediatric Oncology is working toward helping more child cancer patients so that less children have to suffer with this painful and deadly disease.
However, more funding and awareness is needed to make their work effective, which has been slow going so far.
What Can Be Done?
Providing funding and guidance for the PSPO is the first step towards ensuring no child with cancer goes untreated. These doctors are devoting their careers to healing children with different types of cancer, but they can only do so much without help.
Public awareness is another way that Pakistan’s children can be helped. By providing cancer treatment facility information, healthcare coverage, and regular healthcare checkups for children, pain and suffering can be minimized and any cancer diagnoses can be achieved early enough to treat successfully.
No child should have to suffer, especially with a painful disease like cancer. Cancer treatment success rates are improving all the time, but this means nothing if a child can’t even be diagnosed, let alone treated for their disease.
Providing support to the people trying to improve this situation as well as better healthcare for children in general could help this situation in the long run. However, this will require intervention from organizations that have the resources to spare.
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