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Survey of the Use of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) Among Children with Cancer at three hospitals in Cameroon.
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  • Glenn Afungchwi,
  • Mariana Kruger,
  • Peter Hesseling,
  • Sabine van Elsland,
  • Elena Ladas,
  • Stacey Marjerrison
Glenn Afungchwi
Mbingo Baptist Hospital

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Mariana Kruger
Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University
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Peter Hesseling
Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
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Sabine van Elsland
Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine
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Elena Ladas
Columbia University
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Stacey Marjerrison
McMaster University
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Introduction There is lack of diagnostic and treatment resources with variable access to childhood cancer treatment in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), which may lead to subsequent poor survival. The primary aim of this study is to determine the prevalence and types of T&CM used in Cameroon. Secondarily, we explored determinants of T&CM use, associated costs, perceived benefits and harm, and disclosure of T&CM use to medical team. Method A prospective, cross-sectional survey amongst parents and carers of children younger than 15 years of age who had a cancer diagnosis and received cancer treatment at three Baptist Mission hospitals between November 2017 and February 2019. Results Eighty participants completed the survey. Median patient age was 8.1 years (IQR4.1 – 11.1). There was significant availability (90%) and use (67.5%) of T&CM, while 24% thought T&CM would be good for cancer treatment. Common T&CM remedies included herbs and other plant remedies or teas taken by mouth, prayer for healing purposes and skin cutting. Living more than 5 hours away from the treatment center (p=0.030), anticipated costs (0.028), and a habit of consulting a traditional healer when sick (p=0.006) were associated with the use of T&CM. T&CM was mostly paid for in cash (36.3%) or provided free of charge (20%). Of importance was the fact that nearly half (44%) did not want to disclose the use of TM to their doctor. Conclusion Pediatric oncology patients used T&CM before and during treatment but would be unlikely to disclose to the child’s health care team.
30 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed
30 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
30 Sep 2021Submitted to Pediatric Blood & Cancer
04 Oct 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
25 Oct 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
26 Oct 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
08 Dec 20211st Revision Received
08 Dec 2021Submission Checks Completed
08 Dec 2021Assigned to Editor
28 Jan 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
15 Feb 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
18 Feb 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Aug 2022Published in Pediatric Blood & Cancer volume 69 issue 8. 10.1002/pbc.29675