The Global Platform for Access to Childhood Cancer Medicines, launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the United States, seeks to counter an “unacceptable imbalance” in survival rates.
It offers an innovative approach in cancer care by addressing medicine availability in low and middle-income countries, which WHO said is often complicated by higher prices, interruptions in supply and out of pocket costs that result in financial hardship.
The UN agency estimated that each year, 400,000 children worldwide develop cancer. The majority of those living in poorer countries are unable to consistently obtain or afford cancer medicines, resulting in 100,000 deaths annually.
“Close to nine in 10 children with cancer live in low and middle-income countries. Survival in these countries is less than 30%, compared with 80% in high-income countries,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General.