Burkitt's Lymphoma Fund for Africa
BLFA and Direct Relief are now working together to improve access to treatment for children with Burkitt’s lymphoma. In order to maximize the impact arising from BLFA's the grant funding for African partners, Direct Relief will obtain chemotherapy and other necessary medicines as well as supplies from its healthcare company partners to support treatment programs. The value of Direct Relief's experience and access to medications and medical supplies, together with the agency's well-established logistical expertise and presence in Africa, cannot be overstated. By providing these critical supplies and drugs, Direct Relief will allow tremendous "leverage" of BLFA grant funding to African participants, thus saving more lives.
OGRA Foundation is BLFA's initial grant recipient for program activities now commencing in Kenya. A long-established and highly regarded health nonprofit in Western Kenya, OGRA Foundation possesses the personnel, the expertise, the local knowledge, the access to local resources, and the "boots on the ground" that will help BLFA make immediate strides in treating victims of Burkitt's lymphoma in Kenya.
BLFA's second grant recipient is the Uganda Program on Cancer and Infectious Diseases, a collaboration between the Uganda Cancer Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. BLFA funding, combined with contributed medications via Direct Relief and other resources, will allow early implementation of clinical programs helping Burkitt's lymphoma patients in Uganda. Based in Seattle, FHCRC (or "the Hutch") is a world-renowned center of excellence in the fields of cancer research and treatment, infectious diseases, and strategies to combat cancer in all its forms, worldwide.
BLFA's Tanzanian partner is the Shirati Health, Education and Development Foundation, serving many communities near Lake Victoria in northwest Tanzania. SHED Foundation's medical director, Dr. Esther Kawira, is a key researcher in the internationally-funded EMBLEM study of Burkitt's lymphoma, and regularly sees BL patients in the course of her clinical work. Our initial efforts with SHED Foundation are focused on building a new clinic in Sota, replacing the existing facility which is to be demolished due to road construction.
A PATH Journeys trip to Kenya provided the inspiration for the founding of BLKF/BLFA. PATH’s mentorship has been pivotal in helping us implement our program quickly and effectively. PATH’s reputation as a global health organization is unparalleled. We are proud that they are working with us; the benefits of their on-the-ground expertise cannot be overstated.