Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), held the 1st Cancer Control Stakeholders Virtual Summit with Special Focus on Childhood with the theme “Better Survival is Achievable #ThroughOurHands”. Kythe Foundation’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ms. Fatima “Girlie” Lorenzo was one of the panelists included in the discussion on attaining the goal of a global initiative for childhood cancer.
In line with the WHO’s Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer, which aims to improve outcomes for children with cancer around the world and give them the best chance to survive and have a better future, organizations including the Kythe Foundation, Department of Health, National Integrated Cancer Control Council (NICC) and more, collaborated through a panel discussion titled, “Strategic Collaboration Towards Attaining the Goal of Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer”.
The EON Foundation, EON Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility Wing, has been a long-time partner of the Kythe Foundation which aims to improve the quality of life among hospitalized children with cancer and other chronic illnesses. “One of the many things that make Kythe Foundation an admirable organization is that it does not only strive to promote a positive hospital experience for children but also thinks of ways to help improve family resilience and empower them. We are grateful for platforms like the 1st Cancer Control Stakeholders Virtual Summit where Kythe is able to contribute insights and create awareness on better cancer care programs,” says Mr. Junie Del Mundo, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of The EON Group.
During the summit, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ms. Fatima “Girlie” Lorenzo discussed the need for the DOH and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to work together in order to strengthen health leadership and governance programs for local officials. Stakeholders are needed to change behavior and champion programs for cancer. She states that there is a need to invest more in health, particularly childhood and cancer prevention programs.
She also highlights the patients’ tagline, “Nothing about us, without us” which emphasizes strengthening patient engagement in the health system where patient leaders and groups are empowered. Aside from this, she mentions the importance of recognizing patient organizations at the provincial levels as this will enable patient groups to be a part of the implementation of the childhood cancer control and prevention program on the ground.
Lastly, Ms. Lorenzo states that they hope to fully integrate child life services in the treatment of childhood cancer in the hospital. According to the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, child life services are developmentally appropriate interventions for children and youth, which include therapeutic play and other modalities, preparation and education about the illness, and medical procedures that reduce fear, anxiety, and pain. Hiring full-time child life specialists will enable children to learn, play, and grow even if they are confined in the hospital.
“It takes a village to raise a child and it also takes a village to control and to cure cancer. Reflect on what you can do or offer to help in any way you can. Kung ano ang abot kaya, abot puso, abot kamay, yun ang ibigay mo,” says Ms. Lorenzo.
About Kythe Foundation
Kythe is a non-profit, non-stock organization aimed towards improving the quality of life among hospitalized children with cancer and other chronic illnesses. a group of trained professionals providing the Child Life Services. As the only foundation in the Philippines offering the Kythe Child Life Services, they provide psychosocial support to over 18,000 children with cancer and other chronic illnesses and their families every year. Together with our hospital partners, donors and volunteers, we aim to promote healing and growth.
About EON Foundation
EON Foundation aims to ensure that every Filipino is given the opportunity to reach their full potential. We are committed to helping Filipinos address their most basic needs—the five most pressing social issues as outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030: no poverty, ending hunger, good health for all, quality education, and gender equality. To achieve these goals, EON Foundation partners with various organizations that are making a meaningful difference across these advocacy areas, and empowers these groups to share their stories to build a more resilient Philippines. At the EON Foundation, storytelling is the key to moving the Philippines forward.