Although the facilities at Victoria Hospital are better than elsewhere in much of the region, some highly specialised treatment is not available locally. This is particularly true for some newer protocols, including for bone marrow transplants and immunotherapy, which are very complicated.
While the government fully sponsors first treatment, when treatment abroad is probably the best or only chance of survival, parents must find the funds needed themselves. This can be very costly and families find themselves in a very difficult situation. Moreover, as a result of the pandemic, the overall cost of treatment abroad has increased considerably.
Since 2009, the Sun Children Cancer Fund has sponsored more than 20 children for overseas treatment. Our aim is to support two children a year in this way on a case-by-case basis but even this limited support requires the funding of Rs 1.2 million a year – and further funds are very much needed.