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How a Non-Governmental Organization Changed the Face of Childhood Cancer Care in Syria

Khaled Ghanem, MD is the medical director of the BASMA Pediatric Oncology Unit in Damascus, Syria. We are so grateful to host him on the blog as he tells us more about childhood cancer in his country.

Over the past 14 years, BASMA (the Arabic word of “a smile”) was the most active non-governmental organization aiming at supporting children with cancer and their families in Syria. BASMA was established in 2006 as an initiative by a group of Syrian volunteers. Initially, the support was limited to providing medications for patients and food for families. The project grew up significantly over time, with multiple active programs nowadays, including financial and psychosocial support programs for patients and families. At BASMA, we believe that every Syrian child with cancer has the right to receive the best available medical care without any cost.
In 2009, BASMA established the first dedicated Pediatric Oncology Unit in Syria with a maximum capacity of 20 inpatient beds. The unit provides …

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