Dr. Falahati describes the situation

Dr Falahati describes the challenging situations with cancer kids

Dr. Falahati, a hematologist and pediatric oncologist in the “Amirkabir hospital of Arak”. This center is one of the few centers supporting children from 6 provinces: Arak, Hamedan, Lorestan, Khuzestan, and Kermanshah.

Dr. Falahati is one of the dedicated physicians that told us about the struggle of “not having any other choices”. Every day, he must balance the knife’s edge between prescribing the adult version of cancer drugs to the children, and the side effect they have on the young bodies of children. Only because, there are currently no more specific medications suitable for cancer children. This is a result of the economic challenges arising from the pandemic. 

All medicines have side effects, especially medicine used for chemotherapy. However, the side effect of cancer drugs in children can be very life-threatening if low-quality drugs or medicines not formulated for children are prescribed. They can lead to fever, coma, or arrhythmia. In some cases, children can lose their ability to walk and have a normal life. 

It is currently not possible to import all drugs specifically formulated for children. This is mainly due to the economical issues related to COVID-19 and the sanctions imposed on the country. It was previously possible to completely cure approximately 80% to 85% of these children. These children then could go back to their normal lives. However, now this rate has dramatically dropped. Sometimes children are left with side effects even more serious than cancer itself. In some cases, they have to interrupt the curing process, to give the children a better chance of survival without the “low-quality medicines”. By helping to purchase some of the medicines for these children, we would give them another chance in life.