The healthcare is very costly, and Togo has no existing National Health Service. Before VICTOiR emerged, there was no charity or NGO working to fight child cancer locally.
A standard chemotherapy treatment costs about 140 times the local monthly minimum wage. Therefore most parents cannot gather the amount needed to treat their children. As the tumour evolves very quickly when a child is not treated, death occurs within months in harrowing conditions. Moreover, most treatments require that children undergo several chemotherapy treatments, which in turn results in serious complications: hair loss, immune deficiency, secondary infections, fever, vomiting, and anaemia. All these side effects require many other drugs, blood transfusions and dietary supplements to protect children and allow the next treatments.
As treatment takes several months, it also requires great sacrifice from the family as usually a family member, the mother in most cases, will have to stay with the child throughout their time in hospital. This will often bring them far from their village, and therefore, the supporting family member will not be able to work and earn enough for a living.
As an organization specifically created to encourage the creation and development of the Paediatric Oncology Unit (UOP), our Charity is regularly present on the ground and maintains strong ties of cooperation established and developed with the University Hospital and GFAOP.
The role of VICTOiR:
– Contribute to the treatment:
We help the missing resources into the Paediatric Oncology Unit, including hardware, adjuvant drugs, blood tests outside of the hospital, transfusions, financial support for the training of doctors and nurses.
– Ensure long-term follow-up:
VICTOiR is committed to post-therapeutic monitoring (every 3 to 6 months) of children in care, as there is a risk of relapse in the first 2 years. During this period, close monitoring is necessary in order to intercept and treat any relapse as soon as possible. This includes ultrasound, X-ray and regular blood tests and transportation of these children to Lome (they can live as far as several hundred kilometres from the capital city).
– A contribute to the human resources of the Paediatric Oncology Unit by:
Paying for staff hired by VICTOiR (currently three nurses).
Paying for the transportation costs of children and their parents from their homes to the hospital.
Helping to collect epidemiological data and develop awareness of children's cancers.
VICTOiR provides a means to campaign for the awareness and prevention of childhood cancers and the promotion of the Paediatric Oncology Unit.
VICTOiR acts to secure funding for operational costs, but also to carry out the new architectural project at the Hospital and in the Paediatric Oncology Unit, with the support of the GFAO. VICTOiR has had the plans designed for the future ward and will coordinate the project. They will monitor the quality of the work throughout the construction.