The Aslan Project
- District of Columbia
Most childhood cancers are curable at a low cost. In high-resource countries, more than 80% of children with cancer survive. Elsewhere, the reverse is true: the vast majority of children with cancer die, often in great pain. The Aslan Project is committed to fixing this disparity.
The Aslan Project is a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization that promotes equitable access to pediatric and adolescent cancer treatment by building sustainable and locally supported health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). To address inequalities of care, we collaborate with national governments, major hospitals, and academic institutions within LMICs to train local healthcare professionals to recognize pediatric and adolescent cancers early, diagnose them accurately, and treat them effectively and compassionately using affordable drugs, appropriate treatment regimens, and proper palliation.
Founded in 2012, our model is both holistic and replicable, emphasizing a strong strategic alignment while allowing for flexibility in our programs and partnerships. Its components include:
- Capacity Building Training: Our world-renowned volunteer medical team teaches local doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals at their local hospitals and abroad to diagnose and treat pediatric cancers and to train future specialists.
- Comprehensive Family Support Systems: Through partnerships with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), we ensure that children in treatment and their families are provided with counseling, nutrition supplementation, transportation, and other vital psychosocial supports.
- Other Essential Infrastructures: We work with local hospitals to ensure there are separate units dedicated to the treatment of pediatric cancer, to facilitate low-cost procurement of medical supplies and medications, and to introduce data collection and management processes.
Since 2011, we have spearheaded the development of a comprehensive pediatric and adolescent cancer health system in Ethiopia, a country that faces a projected 6,000 to 8,000 new cases of childhood cancer annually. We piloted our first project at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH) in Addis Ababa in 2012 and in 2015 we successfully expanded this model to Jimma University Medical Center (JUMC) in southwestern Ethiopia, working in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and global actors such as the World Health Organization, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the International Society of Pediatric Oncology.