On April 8, 2019, the Saint John’s Cancer Institute welcomed collaborators from the University of the Philippines Open University.
“Aruga sa Batang May Cancer (ABC) Initiative” Principal Investigator Loyda Amor N. Cajucom and Research Nurse Raymund Kernell B. Manago met with the Saint John’s Cancer Institute (formerly John Wayne Cancer Institute) Director Brian Anderson and Nurse Scientist Marlon Garzo Saria to present updates on the initiative and learn/experience diversity in how cancer and palliative care is delivered in different environments and cultures.
The need to develop and integrate palliative care programs to provide intensive symptom management and promote the welfare of children living with life-threatening or terminal conditions in the Philippines is driving this collaboration between Saint John’s Cancer Institute and the University of the Philippines Open University, says Dr. Saria. “Aruga sa Batang May Cancer (ABC) Initiative” was initiated in 2018 by the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) in collaboration with the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC). The initiative is funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research & Development (DOST-PCHRD).
The primary aim of the initiative is to provide patients, caregivers and other healthcare providers access to information related to pediatric palliative care. Using the website arugaproject.com as the primary platform to deliver pediatric palliative care information, the ABC initiative seeks to provide online consultation for pediatric palliative patients (telemedicine), provide online training courses on pediatric palliative care for health professionals and information resources for primary caregivers (learning management systems), and collect pediatric cancer data throughout the country (cancer registry).
The Saint John’s Cancer Institute has been an active partner in continuing education and lectures on palliative care, presented by Dr. Marlon Saria in January of 2019 at the University of the Philippines- Cebu and the fellowship/observership for the ABC research team.