The 15th of February is International Childhood Cancer Day, and this year it is particularly significant for nurses looking after children and adolescents with cancer across the globe. 2020 is the year when the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) converges with the WHO and International Council of Nurses’ Year of the Nurse and Midwife. We have an unprecedented opportunity to bring childhood cancer, and children’s cancer nurses, to the attention of policymakers, service providers, physicians, and our nursing community.
Cancer is almost universally thought of as a disease of adulthood, but it is also a leading cause of global childhood mortality from non-communicable diseases, affecting approximately 300,000 children and adolescents annually. In high-income countries like the UK, it is the number one cause of death in children 1 to 15 years of age. However, the burden of childhood cancer falls most heavily on low and middle-income countries (LMIC), with higher populations of children and adolescents and where many are never even diagnosed of their disease; many never reach treatment, and those who do have significantly lower survival rates than those treated in high-income countries, where over 80% now survive.
Over 80% of children and adolescents with cancer live in LMIC, where cure rates may be as low as 20%, and it is the shocking inequity in access to treatment, and the outcomes of care which led to the launch of the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) in 2018, funded by St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the US. The aim of this initiative is to improve the global survival rate of the commonest childhood cancers to 60% by 2030. To achieve that target, capacity building is required in all aspects of childhood cancer care in all LMIC. The workforce is a critical element of capacity building; nurses together with midwives, constitute the largest group of health workers across the globe.
Expert pediatric oncology nurses are fundamental to providing high quality, safe and effective care to children and adolescents with cancer and their families, and yet nurses in LMIC frequently lack specialized training, and hospitals often have inadequate staffing and resources to provide quality care. This is a major impediment to treatment programs and contributes to low survival rates in these settings. The Nurse Specialists of the GICC is a coalition of nurse leaders from across WHO Regions. The group seeks to advocate for nurses caring for children and adolescents with cancer, with an emphasis on nurses in LMIC. We have published an open-access paper on the ethical imperative to provide a safe work environment and specialist training for nurses working in this field.
On International Childhood Cancer Day in the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we call upon all engaged in childhood cancer services to acknowledge and support the critical role of nurses and to provide those in LMIC with the training, resources and leadership opportunities they so richly deserve to contribute to the goal of improving both care and cure.
Ariesta Milanti, BSN, RN, MHC, Public communication committee, Indonesian Oncology Nurses Association
Indonesian Oncology Nurses Association (IONA) organized a simultaneous anti-tobacco campaign on the 18th of October 2018 in seven provinces throughout Indonesia. The campaign marked the IONA’s anniversary and responded to the call of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) tobacco position statement that nurses should take the lead in tobacco control activities.
The campaign was held successfully at Dharmais Cancer Hospital, Jakarta; Bantul 2 Public High School, Yogyakarta; Dr. Karyadi Hospital and Tugurejo Hospitals, Semarang, Central Java; Sanglah Hospital, Denpasar, Bali; Dr. Wahidin General Hospital Sudirohusodo, Makassar, South Sulawesi; Dr. Soetomo Hospital, East Java; and Adam Malik General Hospital, Medan, North Sumatra. In all sites, we conducted public education on the dangerous effects of tobacco smoke and called the public to protect themselves from tobacco use and exposure. We also played a short video illustrating the ‘epidemic’ of tobacco smoke in Indonesia. In the video, a former heavy smoker described his process to quitting tobacco smoking. We invited people to build their personal commitment to fight tobacco smoke and to sign in our anti-tobacco declaration.
Our message was to take action against tobacco smoke.
In addition to those programs, each IONA chapters created their unique approaches as well. IONA chapter Yogyakarta successfully gathered 100 high school students in Bantul 2 High School and held a photo contest with the theme of an anti-tobacco movement. The photos were uploaded to the @himponidiy Instagram account to be more visible by the young people, the most vulnerable population targeted by the tobacco industry. IONA Yogyakarta will also conduct a continuous community service activities in this high school to sustain the program’s impacts.
The high school students recorded their anti-tobacco declaration and sent it to the local police office as proof of their commitment to avoid tobacco smoke.
IONA chapter Makassar-South Sulawesi held a series of anti-tobacco campaign programs at RSUP DR Wahidin Sudirohusodo. A total of 50 patients and their families enthusiastically participated in the education on the effects of tobacco smoke and signed their anti-tobacco declaration. Our anti-tobacco video was played continuously at the general polyclinic televisions.
Meanwhile in Bali, the anti-tobacco campaign day was also a huge success. The education and signing of the anti-tobacco declaration were attended by dozens of people. The local committee also released the balloons into the air as a symbol to stay away from the dangers of cigarettes.
The simultaneous anti-tobacco campaign was also carried out successfully by the IONA chapter North Sumatra. The activity began with the signing of the declaration “Supporting the Anti-Tobacco Movement” by the patients, family and hospital staff of the Adam Malik Hospital, the public education, and the coloring competition for the children with cancer. The participants said that the anti-tobacco campaign greatly motivated patients, families and all employees to stop smoking and support the anti-tobacco movement.
On the day of the campaign there were several participants who were committed to quitting smoking.
IONA Chapter Central Java organized the anti-tobacco campaign in two places at once, namely Dr. Karyadi hospital and Tugurejo hospital, Semarang, Central Java. The public education and the signing of the anti-tobacco declaration were attended by dozens of patients and families in the polyclinics of the two hospitals.
Meanwhile, IONA chapter East Java installed the large banners displaying the anti-tobacco movement at Dr. Soetomo General Hospital and FKP Airlangga University, Surabaya, East Java. They held a community education on tobacco smoke dangers and its prevention in November 2018.
In Jakarta, the anti-tobacco campaign day was hugely celebrated at the Dharmais National Cancer Center. The entire board of directors of RS Dharmais initiated the signing of the anti-tobacco declaration. Patients, families, nurses, doctors, and staff enthusiastically joined the education program, flash mobs, and various entertaining activities.
Among the feedback from the participants was the intention to spread the dangers of tobacco smoke information to their families and the plan to bring the heavy smokers in the family to get smoking cessation interventions.
This campaign demonstrates the strong intention of IONA to be at the forefront of tobacco control in Indonesia as one of the cancer prevention activities Tobacco smoke and exposure have proven to cause various types of cancer and other serious diseases. We hope to sustain and scale up the campaign across Indonesia.
As part of the World Cancer Day 2019 program, the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) and our partner the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) are celebrating the contributions of nursing internationally. ISNCC represents over 60,000 cancer nurses worldwide, all of whom are vital to cancer care and control.
One of the biggest obstacles we face today in delivering quality cancer care is the shortage of trained healthcare professionals. Addressing the gap is the clearest way to achieving progress in reducing cancer. Find out more at Reducing the Skills Gap.
The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) has honored three outstanding nurses who have made substantial contributions to reducing the global burden of cancer.
Dr Stella Bialous, Past President of ISNCC and Chair of the Committee who oversees ISNCC’s Awards Program said “ISNCC is excited to recognize the extraordinary work of nurses who have made a major difference to cancer care. The successful applicants for this year’s awards are truly outstanding leaders whose work has led to advances in nursing practice as well as the development of nursing as a profession”.
Professor Theresa Wiseman, Strategic Lead for Applied Health Research at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Applied Health Research in Cancer Care at the University of Southampton, has been awarded ISNCC’s Distinguished Merit Award. This award is offered in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the international advancement of the science and art of cancer nursing. Professor Wiseman received the award in recognition of her leadership, education and research translating evidence into practice and significantly advancing cancer nursing and the development of cancer nurses. Her work has ensured better outcomes for people affected by cancer across many settings.
Dr Lena Sharp, Head of the Regional Cancer Centre, Stockholm-Gotland, in Sweden, has been awarded the prestigious Robert Tiffany Lectureship. This lectureship was created to keep alive the memory of Robert Tiffany, founding member and President of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care. Robert Tiffany was an inspiration to many nurses around the world and the intention of the named lecture is to honor those who have a similar capacity to inspire cancer nurses of today and of the future. Dr Sharp is a nurse who, in her long career, has inspired many nurses both in Sweden and internationally through her roles as an academic supervisor, colleague, leader/manager and President of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS).
The Past President’s award is especially important to the mission of ISNCC, as it is given in recognition of a cancer nurse from a low or middle-income country who has initiated and sustained a program of cancer care in her/his country. The program must have been in place for three or more years and has the potential for replication or adaptation beyond the country’s borders. This year, Mr David Makumi Kinyanjui, Vice-Chair of the Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance of Kenya, is the recipient of this award. David has made significant and unique contributions to shaping cancer nursing in Kenya and the region in his more than 15 years of cancer nursing at clinical practice, policy, and advocacy. He has held dual and unique roles, serving as the chair of the national umbrella body of over 30 cancer associations and patient groups (Kenya Network of Cancer Organizations) until July 2019, as well as a founding patron of the Oncology Nurses Chapter Kenya. David sits on the Board of the National Cancer Institute of Kenya a government agency that advises the Cabinet Secretary for Health on all cancer matters. His work over the last 3 years has focused on designing a framework of engagement between oncology nurses and cancer civil society organizations.
Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates, President of ISNCC,
said “The incidence of cancer worldwide
is expected to grow from 18.1 million in 2018 to 29.5 million in 2040. The
goals of reducing cancer incidence, improving survival, and providing better
palliative care cannot happen without the efforts of nurses. The work of the
three nurses who have received this year’s ISNCC awards provide excellent
examples of what can be done through nursing efforts.”
2020 has been designated by the World Health Organization as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. “Recognition of the work of these exceptional nurses is especially important as we begin our celebrations of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife,” Professor Yates said.
ISNCC is the international membership organization of oncology nurse leaders dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people at risk for or living with cancer, promoting the nurse’s role in improving cancer care, and developing nursing leadership in cancer care delivery.
ISNCC was established in 1984 with a vision to lead the
global nursing community in cancer control and a mission to maximize the
influence of nursing to reduce the global burden of cancer.
For further information, please contact: Leya Duigu ISNCC Association Manager E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +1 647.323.2152
WHO invites filmmakers to participate in their inaugural film festival
ISNCC, continuing to strengthen its collaboration with the World Health Organization, shares the call for nurses to engage in celebrating 2020 the Year of the Nurse.
One of the great ways cancer nurses can participate is by sharing stories through videos and we applaud this WHO initiative. We want to encourage the ISNCC community to submit videos that describe the work nurses are engaged in through the continuum of cancer care including primary care stories, community, treatment, palliative care and more. Nurses touch lives in many different ways and this is a unique opportunity to highlight your contributions as cancer nurses.
If you submit a video please share it with us at email@example.com and we will include it in our own celebration of the Year of the Nurse. ISNCC has several activities planned and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Three categories to submit:
Videos about nurses and midwives
Eligibility Criteria: Only films completed between 1 January 2017 and 30 January 2020 are eligible for this festival. Closing date for entries is 30 January 2020.