Burkitt's Lymphoma Fund for Africa
The Reading Room
A growing collection of resource documents, newsletters, photos, videos and web links relating to BLFA's mission and activities
Newsletters: See our current newsletter here (PDF). A profile of Dr. Steve Kussick, news from London, farewell to Erica, and a letter from Ethan.
December 2013 - Meet our new Medical Advisory team, reports from the field, and big news from Tanzania!
March 2013 - A report to donors on progress we've made, and an introduction to our newest board member!
December 2012 - A year of accomplishments in review
September 2012 - Catch up on a busy summer - outcomes, awards, and gold medals!
July 2012 - Meet OGRA, our partner in Kenya
January 2012 - Meet our partner in Uganda, UPCID.
December 2011 - Ned Palmer's "Tale of Three Doctors"
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Speeches and testimonials:
Burkitt's Lymphoma Project - Remarks from Dr. Hezron Mc'Obewa, Executive Director of OGRA Foundation (BLFA's Kenya partner) delivered at a Parliamentary reception in London, 9 April 2014 (PDF file).
Print and radio:
BLFA - a "Small Nonprofit with Global Reach" - A recent article in the Seattle Globalist cites BLFA as one of several small Seattle-based nonprofits that are making a difference on the global stage, "...taking on health issues that aren’t widely covered in the media with small budgets, devoted staff and passionate volunteers."
Africa Must Confront Cancer - In a guest editorial in the Seattle Times, Nigerian physician Kinglsy Ikenna Ndoh wirtes that cancer "is now a major and growing public-health challenge in Africa," and urges a heightened focus on cancer prevention and treatment.
Cancer's New Battleground - The Developing World - Read a series produced for Public Radio International's The World featuring an article about Dr. Jackson Orem and the Uganda Cancer Institute, BLFA's partner in Kampala.
The Hutch, Uganda Get Creative in Cancer Fight - Read a related article in the Seattle Times (December 16, 2012) describing the work being done in Uganda by Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, supported in part by BLFA, in battling Burkitt's lymphoma.
April 2012 - Read Miriam's trip report of the BLFA team's visit to Kampala last month. Our work in Uganda is only beginning, and the challenge is great, but BLFA is making a difference already.
Background documents (PDF files):
Facts about Burkitt's lymphoma.
"This project is a unique opportunity for the children who suffer from Burkitt‟s Lymphoma in Nyanza. With uninterrupted supply of cytotoxic drugs, supportive therapy and additional funding it must be possible to reduce suffering and improve survival of this cruel but curable disease. There is no reason why cure rates of over 80% (as seen in western countries) should not be possible in Kenya."
"The burden of BL in Uganda is particularly high. At the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), 50% of all paediatric cancers seen were diagnosed to be BL, making it the most common paediatric cancer in Uganda. BL was first identified at Mulago Hospital in 1957 where researchers were among the first to show the extreme responsiveness of BL to combination chemotherapy. Yet despite BL’s responsiveness to treatment, it is still a leading cause of childhood mortality as it is estimated that fewer than 40% of these children survive five years after their diagnosis."
"Practicing doctors know that, although chemotherapy regimens have brought great advances in the cure rate of this predominantly childhood cancer, there is more to treatment, than just having the appropriate drugs."
Article by Denis Burkitt, MD (1962) delineating lymphoma occurrence
"A characteristic and unusual lymphoma syndrome is now recognized to be the commonest children's cancer in tropical Africa."
Article by S. Mbulaiteye et al (2010) regarding HIV and BL relationship:
"Universal access to treatment for this disease in Africa is a long overdue moral imperative, and could be another milestone for nascent paediatric oncology programmes in Africa, while saving the lives of thousands of African children dying from this disease."
"A little while later I realize this has really shaken me, maybe because most of the children in my life have been little boys and I have a special affection for them at this age. Then I’m told these boys we’ve just met will be dead in four to six weeks, and it will not be a easy or pain free. Also that there is little or no funding to provide palliative care (morphine) at the end. So I’ve had my moment, when it all finally hits me. I have seen many things but the reality of all this is pretty overwhelming. It’s no movie. I take Dr. Misore aside and tell him when I get back I will see what I can do, because I want to do something. That is why on my list that I talked about yesterday is 'Burkitt’s lymphoma' and why it’s at the top."
Read about our partner in Tanzania, Shed Foundation and Dr. Esther Kawira's plans for a new clinic to treat BL patients in Sota, Tanzania.
My African Journal, Miriam's account of the founding of Burkitt's Lymphoma Kenya Fund in 2010
Photos: We'll post a changing selection of photos from our growing gallery here.