International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families. ICCD is held on the 15th February and spotlights the need for more equitable access to treatment and care for all children with cancer, everywhere.
Globally, every year, more than 400,000 children and adolescents below 20, are diagnosed with cancer. The rate of survival depends on the region, with at least 80% survival in most high-income countries but as low as 20% only in low- and middle-income countries.
In South Africa, the South African Children’s Tumour Registry (SACTR) reports about 1000 new cases a year for children under the age of 16. This is an increase from 10 years ago. The survival rate of cancer in children in South Africa is around 55% and seems to be on the rise.
The Target Goal of the WHO Global Childhood Cancer Initiative is to eliminate all pain and suffering of children fighting cancer and achieve at least 60% survival for all children diagnosed with cancer around the world by 2030.
This represents an approximate doubling of the current cure rate and will save an additional one million children’s lives over the next decade.
There are many reasons why there is a huge disparity between high income and low- and middle-income countries. Amongst these is the late or missed diagnosis of children and the high rate of abandonment due to either stigma or access to financial resources which allow the child to complete treatment.
What is the aim of ICCD?
“The campaign encourages individuals and organisations to stand up and speak out for kids with cancer, survivors of cancer, and their families. It is a day where we can unite in solidarity, be advocates for childhood cancer and promote initiatives that promote the plight and needs of children and teenagers with cancer, their families and the survivor”, Taryn Seegers, Communications Coordinator. The public can show their support to children and teenagers living with cancer by participating in CHOC’s 2nd Flip Flop Day Campaign on the 12th February 2021. Flip Flop Day is an annual event and it is a day of fun and colour because although childhood cancer is in no way light hearted, South Africans certainly are, and when it comes to our children we need to rally behind them, as CHOC SOLE-diers to truly show that we are a force to be reckoned with.
The campaign will be supported by PNA Stationers, one of South Africa’s largest and most successful retail stores, selling everything from stationery to art and craft materials, books and educational books; as well as Tekkie Town, retailer of the widest range of the best quality footwear at the best possible prices. The public will be able to pop into any of these stores nationwide, and grab their Flip Flop Day sticker. It’s simply never been easier to make a difference.
Visit www.choc.org.za for more information about how you can be part of CHOC’s 2021 Flip Flop Day!