Last month Ms Rachel Hollis, Dr Susan Picton and Dr Jessica Morgan from Leeds General Infirmary travelled to Cameroon as part of a new twinning partnership between the hospitals. By visiting the 3 Baptist hospitals World Child Cancer has been supporting since 2011, they could identify certain challenges and work with the local team and develop a plan for future support.
The visit also coincided with the opening ceremony of the new ‘We Care’ Family Support Home which has been funded by World Child Cancer. The home will provide accommodation for 8 patients and their families and is equipped with a living area, kitchen and washrooms. Without this facility, families are left with little choice but to sleep on the ward or in the hospital grounds during their child’s treatment. Families often have to stay at the hospital for long periods of time so providing this accommodation can relieve stress and financial burden.
The opening ceremony for the new home was well attended by doctors, nurses and hospital administrators, with local media channels reporting the event. CEO of World Child Cancer, Jon Rosser, was able to travel out from the UK along with Geeta Nanda, Ambassador for World Child Cancer who has been fundraising to support the programme in Cameroon.
Distinguished paediatric oncologist from South Africa, Prof Peter Hesseling, has been visiting Cameroon for 17 years to help to improve services for children with cancer. He was able to attend the opening ceremony and cut the ribbon.
“This is really a very happy moment in my life. For parents to be confined to their children’s bed in the ward with no place to cry or to share their thoughts or to retire or to rest – it is just terribly difficult. This is really what every parent of a child with cancer needs to be able to cope with the stress and be safe and sheltered”
Celebrity guest, Richard Kings, provided music and entertainment. A wonderful occasion for all those who have worked so hard to make the new home a reality.