Macmillan Cancer Centre: A jubilant place for children with cancer

My visit to the World Child Cancer UK office will remain a great memory. The warm welcome of the UK-based staff made me feel like I was surrounded by friends and family.  The World Child Cancer Programme Coordinators from Myanmar and Ghana also participated in the UK visit so we were able to share our country programme activities, achievements and challenges. This visit enriched my knowledge on programme development, fundraising and cancer institutions model treatment service.

On July 27, 2016, I visited Macmillan Cancer Centre with Programme Manager Joseph Dixon and Head of Programmes Liz Burns. Macmillan Cancer Centre is a part of the University College London Hospital.  We were welcomed by Louise Soanes, Alison Flinch and Doctor Sara Stoneham. We discussed the Twinning Partnership between University College Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and participated in a meeting focused on upcoming workshop opportunities in Bangladesh.

Laura Brown of University College Hospital (UCH) guided us through the teenage and young adult unit. There are 10 beds available in this unit and patients are able to either stay in the unit or in a hotel. It is a beautiful and social environment. Patients can choose to have chemotherapy treatment in a room with other patients or he/she can stay in their own room. The centre is equipped with a computer room, DJ room, exercise and yoga room and a play room for the teenagers. Patients and parents can also get psychiatric support. 

I was surprised to see all the modern facilities in the Macmillan Cancer Centre under one roof and I found this hospital very child friendly. I gathered much useful information from this hospital, which I will try to replicate in the ward of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and other hospitals under my project in Bangladesh. Making the wards more child-friendly may help to lessen the pain of children undergoing treatment and make their stay on the ward more enjoyable. 

About the author

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Rizwana Hussain

Rizwana is the Programme Coordinator for World Child Cancer in Bangladesh.