Survivors Day in Myanmar

At Yangon Children’s Hospital in Myanmar over 30 children celebrated National Cancer Survivors Day on the 5th June 2016. The aim of the event was to give encouragement and hope to the children who are currently receiving cancer treatment and their families. The Survivors Day provided an opportunity for these children and their primary care givers to meet survivors of childhood cancer, share their experiences and stories and enjoy a celebration together.

launching a small event might bring the big hope for them

Dr. Tun Zaw Min, World Child Cancer Programme Coordinator in Myanmar

Conducting Survivors Days has been seen as an effective way to demonstrate that childhood cancer is curable and that treatment can be successful. In contexts such as Myanmar, a common belief is that childhood cancer cannot be cured and it is important to challenge this belief. When children do undergo treatment, parents often believe that it is not working because they see their child become sicker through the effects of chemotherapy treatment, not understanding the potential longer term benefits. The hope is that Survivors Days will lead to a lower number of children abandoning treatment before it has been completed as this type of initiative can provide reassurance and motivation to continue treatment.