↓↑GivingTide is an all-inclusive family-enriching social movement. Whilst adults may become Philanthropes by signing the Giving Pledge, youths could play the role of on-line and offline canvassers (‘Philanthroteens’) while children (‘Philanthrokids’) would provide feedback, by thanking those who sign the Giving Pledge. In summary, adults GIVE THE MONEY, youth GIVE THE WORD and children GIVE THE THANKS.
WHY SHOULD THE YOUTH BE INVOLVED?
- Children are the most pathetic victims of cancer, which is a major source of physical, economic and psychological violence to the child. For instance;
- The death of a parent from cancer may destroy the future and well-being of the child and youth, and cut short his or her educational pursuit.
- Cancer does occur in children. Indeed, some types of cancer such as retinoblastoma (an eye cancer) could be present at birth. Other common types of cancer in African children include – Burkitt’s Lymphoma (which usually occurs as jaw cancer), Wilm’s tumor (kidney cancer), and leukaemia (blood cancer).
- Childhood cancer is often fatal in developing countries, because of the lack of infrastructure. About 80% of childhood cancer is now curable, given early detection and prompt intervention. However in developing countries, the cases are picked up late and treatment is expensive; majority of children (80% of world’s children) currently have little or no access to treatment in economically disadvantaged countries.
- Even when it does not lead to death, cancer still has direct and far-reaching adverse impact on the child, who may have to drop out of school due to the disease itself, as well as the financial toll of the ailment on the family.
- The risk factors for many adult cancers are often contacted in childhood. For instance, a girl victim of sexual abuse or child marriage is prone to developing cervical cancer in early adulthood. The major risk factor for bladder cancer in Africa is schistosomiasis, which is commonly contracted when children wade in stagnant water. Incidentally, the epicenter of schistosomiasis infestation globally, is in Africa.
- Some of the preventive measures against cancer such as healthy lifestyle factors like exercise, diet, non-smoking, sexual discipline among others, are better adopted during childhood. Furthermore, those health promotional and cancer preventive measures such as regular screening, which come into play later in life, are better taught in youth. As far as health education is concerned it is important to ‘catch them young.’
Similarly, the anticancer vaccine, Gardasil which can prevent cervical cancer and other human papillomavirus (HPV) – related cancers is recommended for boys and girls from nine (9) years of age. In endemic countries in Africa, the first dose of Hepatitis B virus vaccination against liver cancer is due to be administered at birth.
- The latest report on the cancer statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed an increasing number of deaths globally, with 9.6 million annual deaths in 2018 (up from 8.2 million deaths in 2016). This implies that our children will be faced with an explosive incidence of these cancers if things remain the way they are presently.
“All people have the right to access proven and effective cancer treatments and services on equal terms, and without suffering hardship as a consequence” – Union for International Cancer Control (World Cancer Day 2014)