Their Lives Matter – Update from Dr Patricia Scanlan, Tanzania
Earlier this year, on World Cancer Day (4th February), we brought you an interview with Dr Patricia Scanlan in which she shared insights into life on the front line of combatting childhood cancer in Tanzania and what she hoped the future might hold for childhood cancer research in the region. Almost a year later, we caught up with Trish to hear about the positive developments which are contributing to the creation of a brighter future for the young cancer patients whom she and her colleagues encounter throughout the course of their work.
Firstly, Trish told us that two charities, Their Lives Matter Ireland (TLM Ire) and Their Lives Matter UK (TLM UK), have been created to galvanise support in both countries in terms of recruiting volunteers, fundraising and raising awareness of the considerable challenges faced by childhood cancer patients in Tanzania. The two charities have joined forces with a charity which is already operational in Tanzania, Tumaini la Maisha (TLM Tz).
Information on the combined approach of these not-for-profit organisations is available on www.wearetlm.org, those interested can also follow the charity on their facebook page. The charity counts Dr Amanda McCann, Head of Pathology, UCD School of Medicine and Dr Fin Breatnach, father of paediatric oncology in Ireland, amongst its Irish board members.
In other exciting news, The International Esther Alliance has officially approved an MOU and Twinning agreement between Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin and the Children's Department in Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam). The TLM group played a central role in driving this initiaitive. Read more about this positive development here.
Finally, the team at Their Lives Matter has drafted the 5 year strategic plan for paediatric oncology which includes expansion plans to two other University hospitals in Tanzania to reach many more children across the country, a copy of which can be read here Curing Children's Cancer in Tanzania 2015-2020.
We look forward to updating you further as we learn of future developments from Trish and her colleagues as they continue to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the world.
Dr Patricia Scanlan (pictured above at a clinic in Dar es Salaam) graduated from UCD Medicine in 1997 and received the 2014 UCD medical Alumni Award in recognition of her drive, leadership, commitment and desire to make a difference on society at home and abroad.