Scotiabank and SickKids offering relief to region
The SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI) and Soctiabank are seeking to improve access to health services for children who are diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders.
The programme, funded in part by Scotiabank, offers assistance to children in six Caribbean countries, namely The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Chief executive officer of the SickKids Foundation, Ted Garrad expressed gratitude for Scotiabank's donations and attested that the Foundation would continue to make a difference.
"Prior to the launch of this initiative in 2013, young people in the Caribbean diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders faced major systemic challenges as there were few specialized diagnostic services, minimal data on treatment efficacy, and few health-care professionals with specialized training in the region.
SickKids recognized the opportunity to make a difference and we remain grateful to corporate leaders like Scotiabank for their continued support, as the first financial institution to donate CAD $1 million to the program and for the additional CAD $1 million gift to support Phase Two,” Garrad said.
SCI connects health-care professionals in six countries in the Caribbean with specialists at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Canada, to provide life-saving treatment for their young patients.
Since the launch of SCI, a total of seven telemedicine facilities have been completed across the region, with Barbados currently benefiting through the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown.
Additionally, SCI has provided training for more than 40 oncology and hematology professionals in the Caribbean, facilitated over 500 telemedicine consultations with SickKids for sick patients in the region, and provided critical support through diagnostic screening and research.
Scotiabank has not only donated to the programme but supported the establishment of a hospital-based pediatric oncology patient registry in each of the partner countries. The registry will help to track patient outcomes and leverage this information to improve cancer care for children.
“At Scotiabank, we are deeply committed to helping our young people lead fulfilling lives. Ensuring they are healthy and receive the best medical care forms part of this commitment. Our support of the SCI allows for the strengthening of the infrastructure available and the capacity of our doctors and nurses in Barbados to take care of children with diseases like leukemia and sickle cell disease.
This increased capacity also means more timely and accurate diagnoses as well as high-quality follow-up care, which of course, enables our nation’s children to have a better chance to recover,” remarked managing director of Caribbean East, Scotiabank, David Parks.