Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston, Jamaica.
The relationship between the Pediatric Consultants at Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC) and our Division started in March 2010 with the goal of improving the survival of children with cancer in Jamaica. BHC is the largest public children hospital on the island of Jamaica and a referral center for children with cancer; however limited resources and lack of pediatric hematologist-oncologists hampered the care of their patients.
Recognizing that education of all health care providers involved in the care of children with cancer would have been the most impactful intervention, we set the initial framework for our collaboration based on two complimentary approaches: weekly review of patient cases via video conference and establishment of evidence-based and protocol-driven management of common pediatric malignancies and supportive care.
Over the course of five years our collaboration has led to shorter time from presentation to diagnosis, decrease in toxic mortality and abandonment rate. Additionally, our relationship has generated strong enthusiasm among the heath care workers and inspired both physicians and nurses to pursue further education in the field of hematology and oncology.
In 2014, the first Pediatric Hematology and Oncology conference was held in Kingston with the goal of raising awareness of childhood cancer and encouraging collaboration between all hospitals in the island. Our work and mission continues and our goals have expanded to create a Pediatric Oncology Center of Excellence at BHC through the sharing of knowledge, expertise, technology and organizational skills.