The Mindanao Pediatric Cancer Care Network is a network of satellite facilities in strategic areas of Mindanao connected to at central unit at Southern Philippines Medical Center. It aims to extend child cancer care to areas at risk of poor access to existing specialist care and promote early child cancer detection to improve survival and chances of cure.
This pediatric cancer care system follows a road map which consists of a general plan, time line, budget, outcome measures and reporting process. It is geared towards strengthening SPMC Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Unit in its role as a central unit and to create dedicated teams at the satellites. The central unit coordinates knowledge and technology transfer through training and continuing education. A referral network is established and provisions are made to enhance communications for seamless referrals. The MPCCN priorities include acute care, early child cancer detection, prompt referral and follow up care.
Davao Regional Hospital (DRH) Pediatric Oncology Unit, Apokon, Tagum, Davao del Norte
This is a 10-bed pediatric oncology unit in a 400 capacity public tertiary care hospital 54kms from Davao City. DRH is earmarked by the Department of Health as the Cancer Center for Mindanao. The Pediatric Oncology Unit was inaugurated last August 2012. House of Hope- Tagum, a transient home for children with cancer was also established to cater to the accommodation needs of patients coming from Davao del Norte and the surrounding provinces.
Dr Alan Tiongko, a pediatrician is currently the site coordinator for DRH- Pediatric Oncology Unit. His team is composed of pediatric residents in training; Ryan Viloria RN, Argyl Serrano RN and Admin Asst Glaiza Lo.
St Elizabeth Hospital, General Santos City
A 2-bed Unit was provided for children with cancer through the generosity of the Veneracion family-owned St Elizabeth Hospital. The private hospital provides assistance to indigent child cancer patients through the in-house charity foundation and attends to patients acutely before being transported to SPMC CCBDU located 154 kms away. The strength of this satellite facility is in its early child cancer detection campaign and prompt referrals that have saved children with cancer. The team consists of Dr Ma Christina Domingo, a pediatrician; Karla Matela, RN and Admin Asst Lovelyn Pampilo.
The pediatric oncology teams at the satellite facilities are home grown. The pediatric oncology nurses underwent a 5-month training at SPMC CCBDU and joins cure4kids online conferences with St Jude and KTP-Children’s Medical Institute. The pediatric oncologist conducts regular site visits and MPCCN online meetings. Patient referrals are also conducted through phone calls, SMS and emails.