Haemato Oncology Department gets significant support over 15 years

A common concern for children with oncological diseases has resulted in the improvement of many important treatments.

Last week, little patients at the Children's Hospital Haemato Oncology Department began their treatment in new premises which are now equipped with everything necessary to provide children with professional treatment and a pleasant environment that is appropriate for the disease profile. In September, the month of children oncology was celebrated all over the world, paying a special attention to treatment and support measures for oncological patients. The Children's Hospital Foundation has collected information about the funds raised and attracted in different projects over 15 years for the Haemato Oncology Department, and the spending of such funds.

In total, EUR 1 276 282 have been attracted for the Department, and thanks to the responsiveness of the people, a great deal has been done for the benefit of the little haemato-oncology patients!

Sincere thanks to anyone who has donated over these years and helped to improve the treatment options for children with haemato-oncology diseases!

The largest project of the last 15 years of the existence of the Children's Hospital has been successfully completed, and haemato-oncology patients have been treated in the new premises since last week! This is really a big event for patients and their parents and Department staff as the new premises can provide a much better and more successful treatment process. At the same time, we are aware that the premises still do not solve all the problems that patients and their parents encounter during the treatment, so we have already begun to support a number of measures to ensure the best possible treatment outcome. An example of this is the ‘second professional view’, i.e., the possibility of receiving advice from an independent foreign specialist on the child's health condition and the applicable treatment. Oncological diseases are associated with high risks, that is why it is important that in difficult cases where the child has an unusual diagnosis, the child's parents and our specialists have the opportunity to consult with their foreign colleagues in order to provide the child with the best treatment. In addition to medical assistance, we continue to take care of improving the psychological support of the child, parents and staff, as the treatment period is both psychologically and physically very difficult and lasting.

ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED:

SUPPORT TO PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES in the amount of EUR 280 932, including:

  • travel and living expenses, if consultation or treatment outside Latvia is required;
  • coverage of costs of examinations, analyses abroad (including courier payment for the delivery of examinations), if not possible in Latvia;
  • coverage of medical expenses for children outside Latvia;
  • the purchase of auxiliaries, special equipment, provision of various therapies to patients, if not paid by the State;
  • the purchase of medicines, if not paid from the State budget funds.

Such assistance was provided to 127 patients.

  • For nine years now, in cooperation with ‘Sixt Leasing’ and ‘Astramar Transport’, the Foundation has been implementing a project ‘Let's Go Home’ to ensure that patients who have undergone a chemotherapy course are taken home from the hospital, and we also reimburse transport costs. This is an invaluable support to children and their parents, especially those who are low-income families living in distant places in Latvia.

During this time, 1266 trips were carried out home from the hospital and, if necessary, return trips to 208 patients.

EDUCATION FOR DOCTORS

Support for participation in conferences, seminars in foreign countries and Latvia has been provided to the staff of the department in the amount of EUR 17 573.

  • In addition, in 2016, the Baltic Hematology Conference was supported, within the framework of which a separate program for children's haemato-oncologists from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Finland, Hungary and Sweden was organized with the support of the Children's Hospital Foundation. ‘The Baltic Hematology Conference is organized every two years. All doctors appreciate the opportunity to meet and share their experience. As we know, the introduction of novelties and treatment improvements in haemato-oncology is very topical, therefore, each observation and experience of each patient is a very valuable source of information for every haemato-oncologist,’ says Dr. Žanna Kovaļova, CCUH.
  • In 2016, the Foundation also supported an experience exchange trip to the oncology departments of Vilnius and Kaunas hospitals. The Foundation covered the travelling costs.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT in the amount of EUR 864 650, including:

  • repair and arrangement of the playrooms in the existing premises;
  • purchase of air-conditioners, blankets, rugs, sleeping bags (for the transfer of children from the department to examinations), fans, thermoses, beds, visitor chairs, dishwashers, refrigerators, nightstands, blinds, TV sets, umbrellas (to ensure patient movement in the Hospital area to the outdoor departments);
  • preparation and publication of informative materials for children and their parents;
  • social and psychological assistance to both children and their parents - social, psychological and mental support;
  • for six years, SIA ‘Satori Alfa’ monthly supplies Haemato Oncology Department patients with sea buckthorn nectar which strengthens patients' immunity that is especially important for patients of this Department;
  • in June 2012 to support the Children's Hospital Haemato Oncology Department patients, the Foundation started cooperation with the supermarket chain ‘Rimi Latvia’. The company monthly donates food to children to diversify the menu after heavy and unpleasant medical procedures.

In addition, Parent’s House established by the Foundation is available to the parents that allows relatives to be next to their ill children, without staying overnight at the hospital ward, because these patients stay at the hospital for several months.

New premises for the Department

In October 2012, the Children's Hospital Foundation, together with its allies, launched a charity campaign aimed at attracting the necessary funds for the reconstruction of the Haemato Oncology Department of the Children's Hospital, in order to allow the patients in the future to receive the treatment in suitable, comfortable premises appropriate for the disease profile.

The charity campaign was launched at the end of 2012 and ended in the spring of 2014. During the campaign, EUR 1 118 284.42 were raised, of which EUR 785 053.14 were donations. The funding was intended for inpatient premises in the Haemato Oncology Department on the first floor of the building, but during the project implementation, the Children's Hospital managed to raise additional funding to reconstruct the premises of the second floor of the building for the patients of the Haemato Oncology Department. On both floors, there will be beds for 36 patients.

A great deal of work and time has been invested in the planning of premises of the Department, so that the children and their parents have comfortable, functional, nice and medically well-equipped premises, providing everything they need. The planning of the premises presumes that one child with a parent stays in each ward, and each ward has its own separate bathroom. In the Inpatient Department, there are also intensive care wards with a separate ventilation system to ensure a safe environment for children with reduced immunity. For the first time in the Department, a separate recreation room for parents is provided, because most parents spend the entire recovery period next to the child. In order to allow children to relax from the hospital environment, a specially equipped, multifunctional playroom is created, where both very little and big patients will be able to find interesting things to do.

A technical project was developed for the donations, the construction and equipment expenses were covered, expenses for author's supervision, technical expertise were covered.

At the end of 2015, the Foundation received the largest donation in history, much of which was directed to the Oncology Department and its patients.

SUPPORT FOR OUTDOOR HOSPITAL PREMISES AND FUTURE PLANS

  • The former patients of the Children's Hospital, with the support of the Foundation, every year take part in the International Children's Winner Games in Moscow, a unique sports competition for children who had oncological diseases. Oncology patients also participate in the "Dynamo Camp" camps in Italy every year, specially designed for patients with oncological and rare diseases.

We have developed a support program for the Oncology Department, which was launched in September.

One of the directions is to improve rehabilitation possibilities, so the initial goal is to identify the full cycle needed for oncology patients during the rehabilitation period; to find out what is being provided for public money and what is not, but would be very necessary during the recovery period.

It is also planned to start tracking the health condition of cured patients, by initiating significant data accumulation.

It is also planned to create a special playground for patients in the Oncology Department, as the environment is very important for children during the recovery period, as well as the opportunity to actively and qualitatively spend time when no procedures or medical manipulations are prescribed. The creation of a playground is not only a highly anticipated project for patients and their parents, but also the idea of doctors and nurses a nanny about a child-friendly and health-promoting environment.

About the Haemato Oncology Department of the Children's Hospital

Every year in Latvia, on average 40-50 children are diagnosed with haemato-oncological diseases. Treatment is often needed on a repeated basis, as a result about 900 patient treatment episodes take place per year. Little patients have to stay at the hospital a minimum of 1-2 months, but often the time spent at the hospital can last up to half a year or more.

In 1989, a Children's Oncology Department was opened in the Children's Hospital and a comprehensive treatment for malignant tumors was started. Children's Hospital’s Department No 20 was the only place in Latvia where children with such diseases were treated.

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