Treating Children with Cancer in Tanzania

We are immensely proud to be supporting Muhimbili National Hospital, the only child cancer hospital in the whole of Tanzania that is working to treat every cancer affected child in the country.

More than 4,000 children develop cancer annually across Tanzania, with many coming from a life of poverty the cost of treatment is impossible!

We have joined forces with Tumaina La Maisha, who are a passionate group of children’s cancer advocates working with charity organisations to support the Muhimbili National Hospital. Together these charities are helping to fund the treatment of as many cancer affected children across Tanzania as possible, giving children hope for a healthy and prosperous life – team work makes the dream work!

With your help we can save more children!

With the support of our donors, we will be working in collaboration with Tumaina La Maisha to support Muhumbili National Hospital with providing free chemotherapy to as many children as possible. We will be doing this by funding essential supplies and critical services.


Help us help every child affected by cancer in Tanzania!

With your help Penny Appeal is working to support every single one of the 4,000 children affected by cancer in Tanzania. We are working to increase the 11 sites currently in operation treating cancer to at least 30 sites across Tanzania, this will ensure no child is more than 4 hours from care!


This is Bakari Dunia’s story…

Bakari smiling on his mothers lap

Bakari dunia is a delightful little 3year old boy who has been diagnosed with a cancer of the eye called retinoblastoma affecting his left eye.

He comes from far west of the country – a beautiful but remote place called Kigoma, (close to where Jane Goodall famously worked with the Chimpanzees).

His symptoms started with a slight squint. His mother brought him to hospital where he was examined. However, as time went on his squint became more obvious and he started feeling a painful pressure in the affected eye. His mother was sure that something serious was wrong. She had no idea what that might be, but she knew he needed help. She visited a second hospital in the region, but they had nothing to offer. Nor did they refer him onwards.

But his mother, who has a primary school education, was not at all satisfied and was determined to find answers. She decided, without a referral note, to travel 1500kms to bring her precious little boy to Dar es Salaam in search of a service that would finally diagnose and treat her child.

She marched into Muhimbili National Hospital and pleaded with them to take her concerns seriously. And of course, she was right. Mothers always are! When Bakari was admitted on Upendo Ward a tumour was found which had begun on the retina of his left eye 5 months earlier. Unfortunately, in that time it had grown large filling the entire eyeball. The CT scan showed further bad news – that the tumour extended into the nerve behind the eye. Treatment is possible for this advanced tumour but involves removal of his eye, 36 weeks of chemotherapy and 3 weeks of daily radiation, almost a full year of intensive treatment.

This is a common story, parents repeatedly attending hospitals knowing something serious is going on and refusing to give up. How many more families were lost before finally reaching a hospital and network of charities who cared. These are the stories that inspired Tumaina La Maisha to start building the National Children’s Cancer Network – a collaborative network of hospitals all over Tanzania supported by the Tumaina La Maisha and the Muhimbili National Hospital partnership who know how to diagnose and treat childhood cancer. So far, Tumaina La Maisha have reached 11 hospitals – but they urgently need to expand to more than 30 sites so children like Bakari are diagnosed on their first presentation with early disease and an excellent chance of cure, not many months later with advanced disease, very tough treatment, and a much more guarded prognosis.

This is why Penny Appeal is supporting this life changing cause, this is why we call on our donors to support us in saving the lives of cancer affected children and giving them the hope and future, they deserve. No child should suffer or die from cancer.


What does ‘Where Most Needed’ mean?

We work with experts in the field as well as our established partners on the ground to locate countries, communities, and people that are most in need. So, when we say your donation is being delivered to where most needed, rest assured that you are helping support some of the most vulnerable communities in the world!

We always do our best to meet your requests!

Penny Appeal will endeavour to use your gift as requested, wherever possible. If for any reason we cannot use your donation as you have indicated, we will use it to fund similar projects in other countries or other projects in the relevant country. Penny Appeal’s strategic overview and on the ground experience means it is in the best position to decide how to meet need as it arises.

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