Global Capacity-Building Showcase: Hematology Patient Care in Low-Income Countries

ASH’s newest poster category, called the Capacity-Building Showcase, concentrates on patient care in low- and middle-income countries where needs are underfunded. The top 12 initiatives “were selected out of inspiring submissions from around the world,” ASH’s Rachel Kopczyk said in its explanation of the new category. This year’s showcase will be featured on Sunday, December 2, from 6-8pm in Hall GH of the convention center. Topics this year include sickle cell disease efforts in Haiti, Zambia, Malawi, and Africa; capacity building for hematologic malignancies in Uganda; treatment approaches for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Rwanda; chronic lymphocytic leukemia clinics in India; stem cell transplantation in the developing world; and efforts to treat childhood leukemia in Belize without the benefit of a hematologist/oncologist, among others. The full list of posters is available at Global Capacity-Building Showcase, with the top initiatives online as well.

In 2017, one poster looked at the prevalence and mapping of sickle cell disease in Northwestern Tanzania (presented by Emmanuela Ambrose, MD, MMed). Another discussed pediatric oncology successes and challenges in Cambodia’s first pediatric oncology hospital (presented by Sing Heng, MD, and Prom VIreak, MD). Challenges with both human and financial resources are a recurring theme in these presentations.

Theresa Coetzer, PhD, Chair, International Members Committee, said one way people can help is to donate to the ASH Foundation. “It doesn’t matter how small the donation is — each one is critical so that ASH can continue to do the excellent work that it’s doing on a global capacity scale,” she said. “All the funds donated to the Foundation go to these projects.”

Last year’s initiatives can be viewed in full at bloodadvances.org. Top-scoring presenting authors will receive a Global Capacity-Building Showcase Award, which provides financial support to attend the meeting.