MAHAK’s representatives attended the 52nd congress of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) which was held virtually on October 14-17, 2020. Head of Radiotherapy Department at MAHAK Hospital, Dr. Mithra Ghalibafian and the representatives of Innovation and Development Department of the charity attended this virtual event in the section of panel discussion and poster presentation respectively.
Mithra Ghalibafian chaired a panel discussion with the presence of Prof. Eric Bouffet, SIOP advocacy chair; Mary Anne Dadzie, Medical doctor at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana; Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer of New York Medical College (NYMC).
The panel speakers discussed the issues for pediatric cancer treatment In Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) with focus on radiotherapy treatment and services. The presentations focused on scarce resource allocations, reasons for the low radiotherapy access esp. in LMICs, the significance of running Twinning Programs, the importance of multidisciplinary meetings, tele-radiotherapy centers and solutions for cancer care in LMICs. In fact, this panel was organized with the aim of presenting a road map of applicable solutions for service provision for patients in LMICs and highlighting the role of governments as policy makers, National Professional Societies as advocators, andpediatric care centers as the executors of these solutions.
Moreover, a poster presentation as the result of an applied research in Iran by MAHAK’s Innovation and Development Department was held. The poster entitled‘Patients, Survivors and Parents Engagement in Childhood Cancer Treatment in Iran (2019): A Qualitative Social Study of Expectations and Experiences.’ This study has been conducted as the result of the cooperation between MAHAK and SIOP PODC Patient, Family and Stakeholder Engagement Taskforce on the field of research to document recent and longer-term survivor and parents’ perception, expectations and experiences of engagement during cancer treatment at various hospitals in Iran.
SIOP Congresses focus on pediatric oncology in order to improve and optimize treatments, to create opportunities to exchange ideas and expertise in an international framework throughout the world with the vision of ‘no child should die of cancer.’ This congress ordinarily has organized in different locations where members function but due to pandemic hit, the 52nd congress in 2020 was held virtually.
During the past 30 years of activity, MAHAK has always striven to deliver more effective and more qualified services to children with cancer and their families by participating in such fora to gain necessary and up-to-dated information, to meet with experts in different arenas and to share its experts’ knowledge and experiences with others toward the fruition of the world-wide dream of eradicating cancer specially among children all over the world.