• Where We Work: Guatemala

    Guatemala map
    • City: Guatemala City
    • Type of program: Education, Research and Capacity Building (Twinning)
    • Partners:
      1. Unidad Nacional de Oncología Pediátrica (UNOP) 
      2. Fundación Ayúdame a Vivir

    Twinning Program

    • Program title: Establishment of a national pediatric cancer registry in Guatemala
    • Start date: 7/1/2013

    Patient in GuatemalaThe main purpose of this initiative is to develop a national population-based pediatric cancer registry. As a first step, we have created a population-based cancer registry for the district of Guatemala City, but integrating all hospitals serving the pediatric cancer population and other stakeholders such as pathology centers. As the processes are consolidated, the plan is to expand to cover the entire Guatemalan pediatric population.

    About cancer registries: Population-based cancer registries serve principally two purposes. The primary purpose is to provide the data for planning and evaluation of cancer control and treatment. Cancer registration allows health policy-makers to assess and address inequalities in prevention, access and care within and between countries according to factors such as ethnicity, occupation, socioeconomic status. Cancer registration is also used to assess the impact of interventions designed to promote early diagnosis, such as screening or provider education. The second purpose of cancer registration is to serve as the basis for epidemiological studies. For instance, using the limited data currently available, variations in incidence of pediatric cancer appear to be quite significant if one examines incidence rates in low- and middle-income countries versus high-income countries. The development of a population-based cancer registry is a critical step in the evolution of pediatric cancer care and evaluation in Central America and will directly inform the allocation of health resources and advance clinical, epidemiological, and health services research.

    Guatemala partnership

    Research Program

    • Program title: Early Warning Score (Onc-PEWS) for Pediatric Oncology Patients
    • Start date: 10/1/13

    Guatemala Patient and FamilyThis research project aims to improve outcomes for hospitalized pediatric oncology patients in Guatemala by using an Oncology Pediatric Early Warning Score (Onc-PEWS).

    Specialized pediatric oncology centers in low-and middle-income countries face the combined challenge of caring for a high-risk population in a low-resource environment, resulting in high inpatient mortality rates. Many deaths, however, can be prevented with early and appropriate interventions. There is an urgent need for effective, low-cost methods for early identification of deterioration to improve inpatient outcomes and overall pediatric cancer survival in these settings. To facilitate early identification of clinical deterioration in hospitalized patients, many hospitals in high-resource countries use Pediatric Early Warning Scores (PEWS). Working closely with staff at Unidad Nacional de Oncología Pediátrica (UNOP), our team created a modified Onc-PEWS, developed a nursing education curriculum, and implemented the score throughout the hospital. We also established a system for monitoring all abnormal Onc-PEWS and unplanned ICU transfers. We are now studying the effect of Onc-PEWS implementation on patient outcomes at UNOP and evaluating the ability of the score to predict need for unplanned ICU transfer, with the overall goal of creating an effective tool to improve care and reduce mortality for children with cancer worldwide.

    Guatemala team

    Learn more about where the Global Health Initiative works.