We are delighted to announce that World Child Cancer has embarked on a new project to revamp the education services at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Ghana.
KBTH currently employs five teachers to give lessons for children being treated at hospital. However, the current service is strained due to a lack of resources, specialised training for teachers and study rooms being cramped and in need of renovation. With few resources, children are required to share textbooks which significantly increases the risk of infection especially amongst children being treated for cancer with chemotherapy known to weaken immune systems.
Now, with funding from the British and Foreign School Society, we are undertaking a project to upgrade the school services at KBTH and ultimately provide better education for children with cancer. We will be refurbishing five study/playrooms; providing new, engaging resources and supporting the training of hospital teachers.
The remodelled play and study rooms will be stimulating, child-friendly environments equipped with new stationery and play materials. There will be enough exercise books and folders for each child, meaning children no longer need to share – minimising the risk of infection.
The teacher training will focus on children with additional needs and teaching within a hospital setting - including strategies for bedside teaching, which is particularly important for patients who are too weak to leave their beds. The immense emotional impacts of childhood cancer can also affect children’s learning abilities, so teachers will be specially trained by psychologists to recognise children with poor or deteriorating mental health and provide them with the additional support they need when engaging in new learning activities. As well as this, each child’s age, ability and physical wellbeing will be accounted for in learning activities. By considering the children’s’ individual differences in this way, it will help make the service more appealing and should make more children want to engage with the learning activities throughout their treatment.
World Child Cancer’s Psychosocial Support Advisor, Megan Cruise, commented:
The project is now underway and set to be completed in June 2019. By providing better education in hospital, we can ensure there is life after cancer for the children we support.
Our programme in Ghana forms part of our ongoing UK Aid Match programme in Ghana to 'Stop the Childhood Cancer Clock'. Every three minutes a child with cancer dies in a developing country, by supporting families and improving the quality of life at hospital, we can ensure more children can still look forward to life after cancer.