Dear Friends,

This spring, Aslan and our Ethiopian partners celebrated the ten-year anniversary of our opening of Ethiopia's first hospital unit dedicated to the treatment and care of children with cancer. That legacy is one of which we can all be immensely proud, but it is just one of many milestones over the past decade.

Indeed, our inspiring start to 2023 -- expanding our pediatric hematology-oncology (PHO) fellowship training program, meeting with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and our partner programs to strategize a national action plan for prioritizing childhood cancer, and introducing two new international collaborators to address key gaps in care -- may herald the most exciting era yet for pediatric cancer care in the country.

If anything, the pace of change has only accelerated in recent months, with important achievements both nationally and internationally. Your generous, mission-driven support has made these successes possible; we are deeply grateful for your investment in a bright future for Ethiopia's children with cancer.

Note our new address:

4315 50th Street, NW Suite 100 Washington, DC 20016

The FMOH Adopts the Rising Nurse Project Curriculum as the National Standard

In December 2021, we launched the Rising Nurse Project as a significant step toward our goal of fostering a locally owned and sustainable pediatric cancer workforce in Ethiopia. This first-of-its-kind collaboration sought to develop a curriculum and accompanying manual that would be certified by the FMOH as the national standard for training pediatric oncology nurses throughout the country.

Rising Nurse Workshop

Recognizing its importance, the FMOH immediately adopted the initiative and directed the creation of a task force to draft, review, and edit the curriculum over a series of three workshops. Sponsored by Aslan, the workshops concluded in late 2022 and the task force engaged in a final review.

Last month, the Project achieved its objective when the FMOH human resource development directorate formally approved the curriculum and manual. Our partner institutions will next conduct pilot trainings to test and further edit the documents as necessary.

The success of this visionary initiative would not have been possible without the expertise of founding Aslan Medical Advisory Board member Dr. Julia Challinor and her team of international pediatric oncology nurses. Deepest thanks also go to Dr. Simret Amha and Mrs. Selamawit Solomon from the FMOH for their leadership and guidance and to the tireless efforts of the PHO physicians and pediatric oncology nurses from our partner institutions who pushed the curriculum forward.

Ethiopia Secures a Multi-Year International Grant to Create Satellite PHO Clinics

Since 2005, Sanofi Espoir Foundation's My Child Matters program has been the premier international organization providing multi-year financial support and expertise to increase global access to childhood cancer diagnosis and treatment. Relaunched in 2022 as Foundation S – The Sanofi Collective, the program continues to identify and support initiatives in low- and middle-income countries that are most aligned with the World Health Organization's goal of achieving at least 60% survival for all children with cancer by 2030.

In response to Foundation S's recent call for projects, our Ethiopian PHO network submitted an ambitious three-year proposal to increase access to pediatric cancer care and reduce the incidence of treatment abandonment -- two major factors in improving survival rates -- by establishing a series of satellite clinics attached to the four established pediatric cancer programs. Armed with commitments from both the clinic sites and the established programs, Foundation S selected our proposal and provided the first installment in April. With a partial match from Aslan, we will work this year to refine the details of the project, including the training process for clinic staff.

By addressing these critical challenges through building pediatric cancer capacity outside the country's major urban centers, the project directly promotes both the growth and the sustainability of Ethiopia's pediatric cancer health system. Equally importantly, Foundation S's decision to fund and support this proposal underscores the caliber of the health system itself. We look forward to providing updates on the project's progress in the years to come.

SIOP 2023 Accepts Six Abstracts from Ethiopia

Thanks to the ongoing pediatric cancer registry initiative led in collaboration with the University of North Carolina, our partner PHO programs are now able to collect and manage disease and other data that is both reliable and of significant quantity to support the development of abstracts and publications. Recently, our network utilized such data as the basis for six abstracts submitted for consideration by the prestigious Congress of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP), which will be held in Ottawa, Canada in October.

In yet another affirmation of Ethiopia's PHO programs, all six were accepted for either a poster presentation or online publication. Aslan Medical Director Dr. Aziza Shad and the PHO department chairs from Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Gondar University Specialized Hospital, and Jimma University Medical Center will attend the Congress to discuss this work and network with the international scientific community. Aslan will also be sponsoring the virtual attendance of fourteen additional PHO physicians and fellows, who likewise will be able to take advantage of the wide-ranging scientific program, exceptional speakers, cutting-edge research, and symposium topics. The Aslan Project and Ethiopia's PHO programs truly have arrived on the global map!

Mark Your Calendars

Join us on Sunday, October 15 at 6 pm to celebrate Aslan's decade of transformative work!

Our annual event will be held this year at the iconic Maeza Ethiopian Restaurant, 5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. In addition to Maeza's traditional cuisine, the evening's festivities will include Ethiopian music and dancers, an auction, and paddle raise. Ticket information will be forthcoming; in the meantime, please contact [email protected] if you are interested in sponsoring the event or for more information.

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The Aslan Project

4315 50th Street NW

Suite 100 

Washington, DC 20016

[email protected]