The Children who we help.
We Support terminally Ill children who are living in poverty.
Childhood cancer can only be diagnosed accurately and treated effectively in three major cities where specialists and facilities are available. Two-thirds of patients come at the late stages of their disease when a cure is no longer possible or can be done only with aggressive and costly treatment. For the remaining one-third who present at the early stages, many will forego treatment or be treated but with high treatment abandonment rates due to economic reasons. Thus, survival rates are abysmal.
The odds of surviving childhood cancer in developing countries like the Philippines are significantly lower than in developed countries. In developed countries, a child diagnosed with cancer has an 80% chance of surviving. However, survival rates in developing countries can be as low as 10% or less. This is because the families of these children make on average less than 100 dollars a month, and the children have a terminal disease such as cancer.
There are over 3,500 new childhood cancer cases in children under 15 in the Philippines every year. However, it is estimated that only 30% are diagnosed. Less than 20 percent will attain long-term survival because two-thirds of the cases are diagnosed in advanced stages when cure is no longer possible, or can only be achieved using very aggressive and costly treatments, which by the way, is only available in large medical centers and which patients cannot afford.
Thus, for most pediatric patients with cancer in the Philippines, no treatment is given, or patients are initially treated but end up abandoning the therapy due to the costly procedures. There is a considerable gap between the rich and the more impoverished patients. The cost of chemotherapy drugs and other supportive medicines remains the primary barrier for the more disadvantaged service patients.
Most of the children we support at Adonai’s Mercy House children are afflicted with cancers such as retinoblastoma (cancer of the eye), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells), and lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). However, we see many other forms of cancer and childhood illnesses.
We currently focus on children under 14 years of age; the vast majority of our children range from 1 to about 11 years old.
Autistic and Special Needs Children living in poverty.
As with most other intellectual and developmental disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) occurs in every nation of the world, with families often providing life-long care to their affected relative. Unfortunately, in poorer countries like the Philippines, there is a lack of knowledge and support services offered to families. Three fundamental questions need to be addressed as suggested by the World Health Organization. What is the likely prevalence of the condition within the country? What impact does a child with ASD have on the family given that they will be most affected? What training and support is beneficial to families so that they can promote the child's development and well-being?
Currently there is no National Center for diagnostic or treatment procedures and there is no formal educational program that addresses the plight of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the educational system. A few teachers, who have no formal training in children’s disorders are able to “spot” possible disorders. These suspected cases are then referred to private practitioners, namely, the Developmental Pediatricians, Psychologists and Psychiatrists. However because of the lack of awareness and the cost associated with diagnosis and medical support, the average Filipino family, never initiates care for those with ASD.
There is a desperate need to reach these families, schools, and non-government organizations and local medical facilities with educational material for the diagnosis and treatment of Autism and other Special needs. With autism and other special needs, you encounter anger, anxiety, meltdowns, lack of sleep, poor focus, problems concentrating...the list goes on. Adonai's Mercy House also supports children with Autism and Special needs by trying other sensory therapy strategies besides Pharmaceutical medications. We help families with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) represents a popular therapeutic option for patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) including holistic and dietary education and training.