BTMAT’s project about the use of mobile phones as a useful means of following up children with cancer in rural Cameroon has already been mentioned in this website. In 2010 Prof Hesseling and I met people representing the American organisation called Jiv Daya Foundation at a child cancer congress in Boston, USA.
At that meeting we put it to Dr Jane – the Director of JDF, and Puja Amin – the Senior Grants Coordinator, that the use of mobile phones might be expected to be of benefit in the follow-up of children with cancer in Cameroon. The phones, given to all parents of our patients who did not have access to one, would eliminate the costly visits to distant homes to find children who had not been returned to the hospital for final chemotherapy, or for assessment at the end of their treatment. It was hypothesised that this might also result in an improved cure rate for the patients.
JDF requested we research this. Medical student Lorreta Chindo, Leeds University Medical School, did the research for us. The results were presented at a child cancer conference in Auckland, New Zealand, and at a meeting in London.
After due consideration JDF agreed to fund the cost of 100 simple mobile phones, and have just forwarded a cheque to cover the cost of them. They included a most courteous letter wishing us well with the mobile phone project. This marks the beginning of another study from which we anticipate results justifying the use of the phones. We will present our work after a period of deploying the phones, and will report back to JDF in due course.
Our grateful thanks to the Jiv Daya Foundation for their generosity.