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PAHO – St Jude Children’s Research Hospital to improve access to medicines for childhood cancer in Latin America and the Caribbean

USA / THE CARIBBEAN – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) announced a new partnership agreement with St Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help strengthen equitable access to cancer medications for children in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The four-year agreement will focus on the provision of quality medicines through the PAHO Strategic Fund and support technical cooperation with Member States to strengthen childhood cancer care services and medicine management systems. It aims to improve outcomes for childhood cancer, which affects more than 47,000 children and takes over 12,000 lives each year in the Region.

In the Americas, “survival rates for childhood cancer vary between countries, highlighting disparities,” PAHO Director, Dr Jarbas Barbosa said. This is due to differences in quality of treatment and care services, including access to timely diagnosis, and adherence to treatment, he added.

Under the new agreement, the PAHO Strategic Fund will work on the implementation of the World Health Organization-St Jude Global Platform for Access to Childhood Cancer Medicines in Latin America and the Caribbean. This global initiative will provide a supply of quality-assured childhood cancer medicines to low-and middle-income countries.

The platform will provide end-to-end support for medicine delivery; assist countries with the selection of medicines; develop treatment standards, and build information systems to drive evidence-based innovation. Approximately 120,000 children all over the world are expected to benefit in this first phase until 2027.

“The Global Platform for Access to Childhood Cancer Medicines is an innovative and transformative initiative. It will create a coordinated approach to purchasing and distributing essential medicines for children with cancer, alleviating the financial burden on governments, hospitals and families,” Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, director of St Jude Global said.

The partnership supports PAHO’s broader commitment to tackle complex health challenges, ensure equitable access to essential medicines and build a healthier future for all children in the Americas.

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