This month was the 47th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP), held in Cape Town, South Africa. SIOP has been running on an annual basis since the 1960s and has over 1000 members worldwide including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. All members share one goal in common, to share and increase knowledge of childhood cancer.
World Child Cancer has been attending SIOP since the charity was formed, and this year was no different. Liz and Joe made their way from Malawi (please see previous blog) and were met by Jon Rosser (new CEO of WCC UK), Anu Vedi (Chairman of WCC UK), and Paul Bird (database systems specialist). The conference did not only provide a wonderful opportunity for WCC staff to increase their knowledge and understanding in paediatric oncology but also a great chance to meet up with project teams, hold meeting with stakeholders, and generally network with colleagues and peers.
The 5 day conference started with dedicated sessions to paediatric oncology in the Developing World (PODC). Presentations and workshops were delivered on treatment abandonment, care issues, advocacy and patient rights, and palliative care – to name just a few. Liz and Paul gave presentations on ERIC – electronic registry in childhood cancer, Impact measurement – a sustainable approach, and lessons learnt from Africa. Each session ended with questions and answers allowing for group discuss and debate.
Evenings were normally spent over dinner with doctors and nurses from each of the paediatric oncology units WCC is supporting. This provided an opportunity to hear more about the successes these wards have had over the years and what additional needs and challenges they face. Additional meetings were also held with WCC USA to ensure that as both organisations grow and expand support is continued to be channelled to the right areas.
The conference finished with a 5k fun run along the Cape Town coast and closing ceremony. A great way to finish an extremely busy and productive week.