What we should know about COVID and children with cancer

| Written by Deina Blancaflor

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 4,700 new childhood cancer cases in the Philippines annually. Forty percent of these cases are leukemia—a treatable condition, especially during early diagnosis and with consistent chemotherapy. Unfortunately, 1,700 children still die from leukemia each year in our country.

Compounding this are unseen impacts of COVID-19 on children’s health, especially those immunocompromised, such as children with cancer and undergoing treatment. What happened to all the children with cancer during the pandemic? How have the lockdowns affected transport and accessibility of care? How are we doing with the vaccination of these immunocompromised children?

This Friday, September 30, from 12nn to 2 pm, the University of the Philippines (UP), in partnership with UP Manila National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH), National Telehealth Center (NTC), and cooperation with UP Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), invite you to join the fight against C.O.V.I.D—current COVID-19 problems, other outbreaks, viruses, infections, and disasters.

In this “Stop C.O.V.I.D. Deaths” webinar titled, “Children with Cancer and COVID-19”, we will focus on an important group of immunocompromised children and tackle everything there is to know about it, from the latest statistics to prevention and treatment, and how this also relates to COVID.

The main speaker will be Dr. Mae Dolendo, Head of the Children’s Cancer Unit at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. She is the leading expert on pediatric oncology, recognized internationally for her advocacy work.

The panel will also feature Ms. Shalom Rea Bernales from the award-winning Kythe Foundation Inc., one of the pioneering programs for children with cancer that started as a volunteer organization from Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU). She will talk about the countless volunteers who have made life a little easier for these children and their families.

Dr. Stella Marie Jose, Deputy Director for Health Operations at the UP-PGH, will deliver the synthesis and closing remarks.

Register here and catch our weekly live tweets and streams via the UP System Twitter account, TVUP’s YouTube channel, and Facebook page. See you on Friday!

The award-winning UP “Stop COVID Deaths” Webinar Series is the Philippines’ first and only frontline-focused medical webinar series. It pioneered the discussion, dissemination, and adoption of knowledge on COVID-19 treatment and management. Follow our accounts to stay connected with your credible online community.