The National Society for Change for Childhood Cancer in India

September 15th, 2017      Vol-2


Patiala: September 15th, 2017

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.  And Punjab is “GOING GOLD.”

Gold is the color of childhood cancer. The gold ribbon honors children with cancer and their families and pledges support for childhood cancer to be a child health priority.

Every 3 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer somewhere in the world. Worldwide 300,000 children (age 0-19) are diagnosed with cancer each year. It is guesstimated that India accounts for 60-80000 new cases of childhood cancer each year. ( 1.5 to 5% of all cancers). While global survival rates for childhood cancers are 70-95% in India 50-70% still die of the disease, primarily due to lack of awareness, stigma, poor information and access to care, inadequate treatment centers, lack of trained health professionals, quality drugs, high costs of treatment and lack of supportive care. Resultingly either children come in advanced stages with metastatic cancers or do not make it to any
cancer center at all. 

In the State of Punjab It is estimated that Punjab accounts for 969 to 1543 new cases of childhood cancer each year (0-19 years) as per IIC-3 data from IARC Geneva, depending on IICC3 7 PBCRs of India or IICC 3 - World Average incidence rates. (For 0-14 years of age similar data is 687 and 996 respectively)

MOU will Ensure Better Treatment for Kids With Cancer in Punjab

With the signing of MOU with Department of Medical Education and Research Govt of Punjab it is understood that Cankids will serve as a knowledge and support partner to support Government on matters relating to childhood cancers.

This MOU will help in the development and implementation  of a State level childhood cancer control plan and policy in Punjab which will integrate into the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancers, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) to ensure the development of appropriate infrastructure, pediatric oncology centers of excellence, access to care networks and referral pathways, pediatric oncology health professionals, appropriate and adapted regimens of treatment and diagnostics, quality and affordable drugs focussed disease specific interventions and patient, family and civil society engagement in a participatory approach. This MOU doesn’t reflect any financial burden of state government Cankids will  mobilize the required resources, for its programs in the State under its project Change for Childhood Cancer in Punjab.

Cankids will create referral pathways so that the patient can be referred to specialized center if the treatment is not available at the primary center. Cankids with other stake holders like IAP PHO chapter will do the capacity building of Doctors, Nurses and other paramedical staff in various aspects of care and support for children with cancer. Cankids will create or provide  IEC material and conduct awareness programs on childhood cancer across Punjab.

Cankids will also provide information and material and updates on childhood cancer to the Punjab Government Health Helplines. Childhood cancer will be given priority with this MOU and with department of DMER we will promote and support surveys, epidemiology, studies and research on childhood cancers in Punjab.

Founder Chairman and Cancer survivor Poonam Bagai said "The MOU is about Partnerships. It is only when the government, civil society and NGOs like Cankids, doctors and health professionals of Public and private sectors, parents and survivors groups & CSR partners come together and work together that we will be able to provide the best treatment care and support for Children with cancer and their families in Punjab. 

"For that family in Punjab, what is important is -did they get the right information, did the child get diagnosed in time, did someone hold their hand through the cancer journey, did they get support when it was needed."

Hon’ble Health Minister, Sh Brahm Mohindra, who graced and chaired the workshop, hailed the MOU and the Go Gold Punjab initiative and said......

On September 14th, his Excellency the Governor of Punjab and Chief Admin of Union Territory of Chandigarh Sh V.P.Singh Badnore met Childhood Cancer survivors and parents and pledged for Punjab and Chandigarh to Go Gold.

Muskaan 17yr old Childhood Cancer Survivor of Osteosarcoma from Zirakpur) pinned gold ribbon on his Excellency Sh V.P.Singh Badnore, who was pleased to give audience to a group of Survivors and Parents of Children with Cancer, led by Poonam Bagai, Founder Chairman herself a cancer survivor and Sonal Sharma Co Founder and parent of survivor  from  Cankids Kidscan - National Society for Change for Childhood Cancer in India,  that works across 46 Centers in 18 Cities and  13 States pan India and has supported over 26300 families under its YANA – you are not alone – holistic care program for children with cancer and families in India.

The Governor was very happy and impressed to hear about the work that CanKids does and the Go Gold India survivor-led advocacy campaign initiated in 2015. 

His Excellency was showed keen in setting up special care centers like Home Away from Home & Pedia Palliative Care Centres in Chandigarh and has asked the committee to expedite it.   


Cankids Survivor - led "I PLEDGE" CAMPAIGN garners significant support from Health Minister & key government officials of Punjab

Survivors are advocating for Childhood Cancer to be a Child Health Priority in India, because Children with Cancer and their families deserve the best Treatment Care & Support.   Under the Go Gold India campaign, survivors are pinning Gold Ribbons and collecting 300,000 signatures/pledges one for each child diagnosed with cancer worldwide. Sonal Sharma,  said, “Last year the Taj went Gold to speak for children with cancer and their families, this year it is the Golden Temple, as our childhood cancer survivors advocate for Childhood Cancer to be a Child Health Priority in India.

Said Principal Secretary Ms. Anajali Bhawra "Cankids Survivors ambassadors stole many hearts by their performance and pledge campaign and won the cause many more ambassadors."

1st Pediatric oncology stakeholder sensitization workshop

Hon'able Health Minister inaugurated the The workshop and a Childhood Cancer Exhibition

Chairman is taking Hon'able Health Minister Shri Braham Mohindra to the exhibition

Health Minister with Survivors at Photo booth 

Panel Discussion-1 Barriers to Access to Care 

Formal Inauguration of Workshop 

Go Gold Punjab

September 15th- Patiala: Cankids worked closely with Departments of Health & Family Welfare and Department of Medical Education & Research Punjab Government to organize the 1st Pediatric Oncology Stakeholder Sensitization Workshop for Childhood Cancer at Patiaila. 

The workshop and an Exhibition on Childhood Cancer, was inaugurated by Hon’ble. Health Minister Shri Brahm Mohindra. It was attended by a gathering of 400-450 stakeholders that includes  doctors, paramedical staff, health workers and people from various trusts and corporate world. The aim was to sensitize and focus on childhood cancers, create awareness, discuss barriers to access to care and initiate stakeholder dialogue and partnerships that will ensure that children with cancer and their families get best treatment, care and support in Punjab.

Dr. Scott Howard Secretary General SIOP (International Association of Pediatric Oncology opened the Workshop via vedio conferencing under the ECHO project with the presentation of Childhood Cancer - World Scenario. Our Board Member and Chair Medical Advisory Dr. Amita Mahajan (Senior Hemato-Oncologist Apollo Hospital Delhi) presented the scenario from India's perspective and Dr. G.B. Singh Asst. Director NPCDCS presented on Punjab.

Presentations were followed by two panel discussions 1. Barriers to Access to Care & 2. Partnerships for Change for Childhood Cancer. First Panel Discussion was chaired by Hon'able Health Minister & Moderated by Dr. Amita Mahajan- (Senior Hemato-Oncologist Apollo Hospital Delhi) . There were total 5 panelist, Dr. Shruti Kakkar- DMCH Ludhiana, Dr. Debashish Chaudhary Homi Bhabha Cancer Institute Sangrur, Dr. Joseph John- CMCH, Ludhiana, Ms. Sonal Sharma - Cankids. Dr. Dilraj Kaur Amandeep Hospital Amritsar, Dr. Parveen Mittal GMC Patiala and Dr. G.B. Singh from Directorate of Health Services. 

Second Panel Discussion was Chaired by Smt. Anjali Bhawra- Principal Secy Health and Family Welfare and Moderated by Ms. Poonam Bagai- Founder Chairman Cankids...Kidscan. There six panelists included Dr. M. K. Mahajan from Advance Cancer Center Bhatinda, Ms. Pooja from Max India Foundation, Chandan Kumar, from Cankids, Dr. Jasbir Singh & Dr. Neeru from GMC Patiala. Dr. V. K. Kaushal Medical Director from Mohan Dai Oswal CHospital  Ludhiana and Mr. T Anbumani from Tata Trusts were also present.

A Big thanks to Civil surgeon Patiala and his team for working closely with the Cankids team to make the program a huge success.

In the News
SONAL SHARMA Project Leader- Go Gold Punjab

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