Mon | Oct 19, 2020

SickKids, Scotiabank help children fight cancer

Published:Friday | September 25, 2020 | 12:10 AM

The SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI), funded in part by Scotiabank, continues to improve access to health services for children in six Caribbean countries who are diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders.

As telemedicine partner and key supporter of the programme for many years, Scotiabank has seen at first-hand the importance of the programme, which connects healthcare professionals in six countries in the Caribbean with specialists at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Canada, in order to provide life-saving treatment for their young patients.

Since the launch of SCI, a total of seven telemedicine facilities have been completed across the region, with Jamaica currently benefiting through the University Hospital of the West Indies and Bustamante Hospital for Children, both in Kingston. To date, SCI has also:

• Provided training for more than 40 oncology and haematology professionals in the Caribbean;

• Facilitated more than 500 telemedicine consultations with SickKids for patients in the Caribbean;

and,

• Provided critical support through diagnostic screening and research.

Scotiabank has also supported the establishment of hospital-based paediatric oncology patient registries in each of the six SCI partner countries, to help track patient outcomes and leverage this data to implement quality improvements for life-saving cancer care for children. “Prior to the launch of this initiative in 2013, young people in the Caribbean diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders faced major systemic challenges as there were few specialised diagnostic services, minimal data on treatment efficacy, and few healthcare professionals with specialised training in the region. SickKids recognised the opportunity to make a difference and we remain grateful to corporate leaders like Scotiabank for their continued support, as the first financial institution to donate CDN$1 million to the programme and for the additional CDN$1 million gift to support phase two,” said Ted Garrard, chief executive officer, SickKids Foundation.

“Our support of the SCI allows for the strengthening of the infrastructure available and the capacity of our doctors and nurses in Jamaica to take care of children with diseases like leukaemia and sickle cell. This increased capacity also means more timely and accurate diagnoses, as well as high-quality follow-up care, which, of course, enables our nation’s children to have the best chance for recovery,” said David Noel, president and chief executive officer of Scotiabank Jamaica.