by Emmanuel Joseph
Plans are in train to develop Barbados as the reference hub for assisting other Caribbean countries to upgrade their care for children suffering from cancer and blood disorders.
In an exclusive interview with Barbados TODAY this morning, Head of Paediatrics at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Dr. Clyde Cave disclosed that, Barbados, which records an annual average of two cancer cases among children, is getting technical assistance from the Toronto-based financial institution, Scotiabank, in this regard.
Cave also revealed that this country was receiving technical assistance from the bank to improve some of the tests on certain kinds of cancers.
“We can diagnose leukemia here, but can’t say whether it’s the good-news one or the bad-news leukemia. We can do the good news one here,” pointed out the leading paediatrician.
He said the idea was to put Barbados in a position where it would not have to send patients “all the way to Toronto” to have specialised tests done for the “unusual” types of cancers.
The doctor said an initiative in which Scotiabank was providing one million dollars to Barbados and five other regional states to support the Caribbean SickKids Paediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Project, would help this country manage children with the unusual cancers.
The project, he added, would involve a series of educational programmes, teleconferencing for the general exchange of knowledge, kids conferences, consultations with doctors in Toronto and opportunities to consult with children elsewhere.
The telemedicine element of the project would allow physicians in the Caribbean to connect directly with leading paediatric cancer and blood disorder experts at SickKids.
Scotiabank’s Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Sabi Marwah, explained: “Physicians specialising in areas other than cancer and blood diseases can also connect with both Caribbean and international colleagues, enhancing their ability to diagnose and care for Caribbean children.
“The goal of this project is to expand access to world-leading medical professionals allowing children to get the best care possible in their own country.”
He added: “The Caribbean is a big part of Scotiabank’s history and our future. This donation and our partnership with SickKids is directed at giving the next generation a better chance of growing up healthy and making their contribution to the Caribbean.”
The Caribbean SickKids Paediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Project includes a five-year plan to address the region’s gaps in research, care and education, so as to advance the diagnosis and management of paediatric cancer and blood disorders. firstname.lastname@example.org