CCLGPODC sounds like a Welsh village, but in fact is the ‘Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group; Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries’.
This is an organisation of doctors working for the NHS in the UK, all of whom are specialists in child cancer, and have a particular interest in child cancer in developing countries. Their aim is to confer upon matters relating to the improvement of services for colleagues working in those countries; in particular for the training of doctors and nurses in resource-poor settings.
The Group meets annually; I have attended the last 4, and presented on each occasion, some aspect of the work of BTMAT in Cameroon. Today we heard submissions from Indian and Pakistani doctors who had received training in the UK; from an English doctor who is trying to improve the paediatric oncology service in Myanmar; from an Indian doctor who works in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, about the work of the PODC subgroup of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP), of which he is the Convenor of one of its Working Groups.
The highlight of the day for me however, was to introduce to the meeting Lorreta Chindo – a Cameroonian final year medical student at Leeds University, and ask her to give her talk about the usefulness of mobile phones as a tool for the follow-up of Burkitt lymphoma children in Cameroon. This was a report on the research Lorreta headed, over Christmas 2009, on behalf of BTMAT, at Mbingo Baptist Hospital. Her presentation was eloquently delivered, and well-received by all members of the Group.
It was a busy day of travel for Lorreta and me, from Leeds and Kettering, to London and back, but without doubt well worth the effort. We made a positive contribution to the proceedings and enjoyed bonding with like-minded colleagues. It was a pleasure also to enable Lorreta to meet doctors who are passionate about the care of children with cancer in countries such as her own.