Asociación de Hemato-Oncología Pediátrica de Centro América (AHOPCA): A model for sustainable development in pediatric oncology
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Bridging the survival gap for children with cancer, between those (the great majority) in low and middle income countries (LMIC) and their economically advantaged counterparts, is a challenge that has been addressed by twinning institutions in high income countries with centers in LMIC. The long-established partnership between a Central American consortium--Asociación de Hemato-Oncología Pediátrica de Centro América (AHOPCA)--and institutions in Europe and North America provides a striking example of such a twinning program. The demonstrable success of this endeavor offers a model for improving the health outcomes of children with cancer worldwide. As this remarkable enterprise celebrates its 15th anniversary, it is appropriate to reflect on its origin, subsequent growth and development, and the lessons it provides for others embarking on or already engaged in similar journeys. Many challenges have been encountered and not all yet overcome. Commitment to the endeavor, collaboration in its achievements and determination to overcome obstacles collectively are the hallmarks that stamp AHOPCA as a particularly successful partnership in advancing pediatric oncology in the developing world.
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