Childhood cancer outcomes after setting up a residential home in Tanzania

This article was originally published here

Pediatric blood cancer. 2022 May 20:e29758. doi: 10.1002/pbc.29758. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: A large disparity in survival exists for pediatric cancer patients in low- and middle-income countries compared to high-income countries. A variety of factors contribute to this gap, including advanced disease at presentation, high rates of care dropout, and lack of supportive care infrastructure. A residential hostel was established in Mwanza, Tanzania, to reduce barriers to accessing and maintaining care for patients being treated for childhood cancer at a regional referral hospital. This study examines the effect of hearth on one-year survival and treatment dropout in children diagnosed with cancer.

METHODS: Medical records were retrospectively reviewed for all patients presenting from May 2017 to April 2018, following the establishment of a pediatric cancer lodge at the referral hospital. Active follow-up was used to confirm survival data.

RESULTS: There were 149 patients who presented to the referral hospital during the study period with 130 eligible for evaluation. In total, 34% (n = 44) used the shelter’s services and 66% did not use the shelter (n = 86). Patients who used the hostel did not differ significantly by age, sex, or diagnosis compared with patients who did not use the hostel. Patients who used Auberge had a lower treatment dropout rate (27% vs. 37%) and higher one-year overall survival (47% vs. 37%) compared to patients who did not use the inn.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that key support programs such as a family hostel may benefit childhood cancer patients and may improve pediatric cancer treatment outcomes in LMICs.

PMID:35593643 | DOI:10.1002/pbc.29758

Linda G. Ibarra