Inequity in paediatric oncology in South Africa – The neuroblastoma case study

SA Journal of Oncology

Field Value
Title Inequity in paediatric oncology in South Africa – The neuroblastoma case study
Creator van Heerden, Jaques Esterhuizen, Tonya Kruger, Mariana
Subject paediatric; oncology; ethics paediatric oncology; equality; South Africa; neuroblastoma; patient advocacy
Description Background: The South African Constitution affords everyone the right to access healthcare services, but in children the care must ensure survival.Aim: This study aimed to determine whether there was access to equitable paediatric oncology services for the management of neuroblastoma in South Africa.Setting: Paediatric oncology services in South Africa between 2000 to 2014.Methods: A literature review was carried out, focussing on access to healthcare in South Africa for children with neuroblastoma. Services were classified in accordance with the International Society of Paediatric Oncology resource settings for neuroblastoma diagnosis. Supplementary data from a retrospective study of the management of neuroblastoma in South Africa were evaluated.Results: The neuroblastoma care services in South Africa were not uniformly resourced and accessible across the provinces. Two provinces (2/9 provinces) had excellent healthcare services that included access to transplant facilities, whilst three (3/9 provinces) had no services. Traveling distances to healthcare services pose major challenges, whilst number of medical staff providing oncology care were unequally distributed. The Constitution did not define basic healthcare for children, nor did the National Cancer Control plan acknowledge childhood cancer as a defined entity without provision until 2022.Conclusion: Children diagnosed with neuroblastoma do not have equitable access to healthcare as stated in the South African Constitution. The case of neuroblastoma highlights the inequitable access to childhood care as a whole in South Africa. As the health of children is a national priority, it is therefore necessary to sensitise policymakers to the needs of children with cancer.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2021-03-11
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — —
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajo.v5i0.163
Source South African Journal of Oncology; Vol 5 (2021); 12 pages 2523-0646 2518-8704
Language eng
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Coverage South Africa 2000-2014 —
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Jaques van Heerden, Tonya Esterhuizen, Mariana Kruger