Advancing the study, diagnosis, and treatment of paediatric cancer and serious blood disorders across the Caribbean

In the Caribbean, children with cancer and serious blood disorders often face a poorer chance of survival. Due to a lack of health-care professionals with specialized training, limited technology, sparse data on disease outcomes, and unique geopolitical challenges, many patients are currently not able to receive the life-saving care they desperately need.


SickKids is committed to building health-care capacity in other countries through the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health. Over the past 10 years, SickKids has been working together with seven local partners to provide sustainable access to local health-care services for patients with paediatric cancer and blood disorders in The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

The SickKids- Caribbean Initiative (SCI) maintains local cancer databases, supports the establishment of newborn screening programs for sickle cell disease, and uses live videoconferencing technology to connect health-care professionals across the Caribbean with those at SickKids and around the world. SCI also supports specialized paediatric nursing training programs, fellowships at SickKids, and training for Caribbean doctors. 

 

SCI has already made a profound difference on paediatric care in the Caribbean. But to ensure the long-term sustainability of the critical work of this program, we need to extend our partnership. And to do that, we have established an endowment fund to allow for permanent funding.

 

To fund SCI in perpetuity, we are raising $8M to establish the Dr. Victor Blanchette Caribbean Endowment Fund. That will fund essential annual costs, including healthcare professional training, case consultations, and SickKids management support, for many years to come.

 

ABOUT DR. VICTOR BLANCHETTE

Renowned for his expertise in cancer and blood disorders, Barbados-born Dr. Victor Blanchette was the Head of the Division of Haematology/Oncology at SickKids from 1998-2010. A scientist as well as a clinician, Dr. Blanchette has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and many book chapters.

 

He has spent much of his career enriching paediatric care in the Caribbean, including through the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative, which he helped found, and for which he which he received the Vice Chancellor’s Award at the University of the West Indies in 2018.


We named this endowment fund to honour his legacy and celebrate his inspiring compassion.

SickKids Caribbean Initiative doctor

SickKids-Caribbean Initiative: Improving Outcomes Together

Overview of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative to enhance capacity for care in paediatric cancers and blood disorders.