KAMPALA — Bless a Child Foundation (BCF) a local NGO that provides care and psychosocial support services to children aged 0-15 years suffering from cancer has in collaboration with the British High Commission commemorated the International Childhood Cancer day.
The event, they also launched their COVID-19 isolation rooms at their home in Makerere Kikoni.
Bless a Child Foundation has for the last 14 years made an outstanding contribution in bridging the gap between children suffering with Cancer and the provision of shelter and food to over 5000 children who travel long distances for the much needed diagnosis and care.
The home, in addition provides psychosocial support, counselling home schooling, play therapy and bereavement support among others.
The COVID-19 pandemic crippled the home’s ability to operate at its full capacity because of the fear of spreading the virus among this already fragile population from patients returning for care from the community.
Officials indicated that the partnership came in form of a grant worth UGX35m awarded to Bless A Children.
“I am particularly impressed with all the strides that BlessAChild Foundation have put in place over the years. The selflessness exhibited by its founders and the team is unmatched- especially in their efforts towards improving the lives of the children encumbered by the plight of Cancer. You have embodied and exemplified the core meaning of Charity and serving others above self,” stated Simon Tucker, first secretary at British High Commission.
He added: “It was a wonderful experience to meet the children and carers at Bless A Child foundation. We are delighted to be able to improve the facilities at the orphanage through our donation. But the most satisfying part of the visit was spending time with the children. Initiatives like this help to remind us about the things in life that truly matter.”
During the visit, the executives took part in painting exercise with the children and played a few games too.
They were also able to chat to the care-takers and discuss the challenges facing the children and the orphanage.
The COVID-19 isolation rooms will be set up in their Kikoni and Mbarara homes and are set to provide relief for at least 30 children at either site according to officials.
“The COVID-19 isolation rooms donated by the British High commission will provide a place where families returning from the community are quarantined and monitored for symptoms before joining the rest of the families. The rooms are equipped with water dispensers, TVs and a full time nurse trained to identify any suspicious symptoms warranting referral for further assessment. This measure will mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the home and enable the home operate more efficiently in supporting childhood cancer care,” Brian Walusimbi, the founder and Executive Director told this website.
“Fortunately, today also happens to be the International Childhood Cancer Day and we are elated to partner with such a formidable and compassionate entity like the British High Commission. It is holistic partnerships like these that we are able to not only keep our doors open but also be able to provide a better than average life for the children,” Walusimbi stressed.
Every day about 1000 children are diagnosed with cancer making it the leading cause of death among children. The vast majority of these children leave in LMIH (Low to Medium Income Households).
While advances have been made in childhood cancer with 80% survival for most childhood cancers in high income settings, there are still areas in low- and middle-income countries where survival is as low as 20–30% due to inequalities in access to care.”