Novel transient home hopes to share experiences
by RG Alama
Davao City (21 February) -- A novel transient home for children with cancer hopes to share its experiences to other poor countries whose low survival rate for children with cancer is attributable to numerous factors foremost the cost of cancer care and treatment.
Formerly a dilapidated dormitory, a stone throw away from the Davao Medical Center a Government tertiary medical center which houses a Cancer Center. In 2006 the House of Hope was developed with the help Rotary Club of Waling-Waling Davao, to be a homey stay-in center for children where they can rest and recuperate after their chemotherapy treatments.
The parents and the child can stay there for free. Freeing them from the burden of transportation money which eats into the cost for cancer treatment, at the same time it prevents the child's unnecessary stay in the hospital ward which can be a source for infection.
Dr. Mae Dolendo, pediatric oncologist of the DMC and President of the Davao Children's Cancer Fund said that in the United States, Europe and other affluent countries the survival rate for children with cancer ranges to about 70-80%, while in the Philippines and other countries limited resources cancer survival rate are low at a range of 10-20%.
The low rate is attributed to poverty and lack of resources which will lead to the abandonment of cancer treatment. According to Dr. Dolendo, families can save a lot if the child is staying at the House of Hope, the money saved can be used for treatment which increases the child's chances of survival.
She said they can share the House of Hope model to other resource-poor countries like Cambodia and Indonesia. Since the place has a huge impact on the survival rate of children with cancer. "Hindi lang siya tirahan" (this is not just a shelter) in the long run it can help in the child's treatment and improve their chances of survival. The lady oncologist said.
The House aside from having children with cancer from different parts of Mindanao, there are also some patients from as far the neighboring country of Indonesia.
Dr. Dolendo, said that aside from providing a home for children with cancer, the House also provide psychosocial treatment which includes taking the children to leisure trips across the City's various attractions. She said when they started the city stroll they had only one car to take the then-few kids of the House. Later the strollers grew, now she said they take a bus lent by a generous sponsor. (PIA) [top]