Mina with ASHIC founder Salma Choudhury

The ASHIC foundation was started by Salma Choudhury, a Dhaka resident, after her 3 year old son died of cancer. ASHIC was the first foundation in Bangladesh that focused solely on Childhood Cancer.

Child with eye cancer awaiting surgery

One of the greatest challenges in a developing country like Bangladesh is that many underprivileged families living in far-flung villages have to travel to Dhaka, the Capital, for specialised treatment for a childhood cancer. However, due to the high cost and or late diagnosis, many parents often discontinue the treatment of for their child and go back home, thus contributing to the previously high “Drop-Out Rate” as well as the poor “Survival Rate”.

The hospice keep handprints of all patients

The organisation provides palliative care for children with cancer. They help with accommodation and the cost of treatment. For those who need to return home with their dying child, doctors and nurses of ASHIC PCU have designed a program, teaching parents effective methods of Palliative and Hospice Care, thus enabling parents to continue to care for the dying child in their village home during the last days of their beloved child’s life.

Child with leukemia

Salma is using her late father-in-law’s house as a clinic. She has employed doctors and palliative care nurses all on a shoestring budget. When funds are short she even meets the running costs from her personal income.

Ever since ASHIC started addressing the ordeals faced by families with a child suffering from cancer, there has been a remarkable increase in the Survival Rate of cancer children in Bangladesh. There has also been overall improvement in the quality of life of the terminal ill children as well as support for their families.

On meeting some of the patients, it was obvious that without this help they would not be able to give their child treatment or their terminally ill child a dignified end. Salma’s work is invaluable.

The Orphan Trust is committed to supporting the ASHIC foundation to enable it to continue its service by raising funds to support the running costs of the clinic.

You can find out more about their work by clicking here