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A special welcome for a group of refugee cancer patients from Ukraine

18 March 2022

SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital have received a group of children suffering from cancer who have arrived together with their families

A group of 16 children and their families, mostly mothers and siblings, have landed at Barcelona Airport in an aeroplane travelling from Ukraine, as part of the collaborative project between organisations and public administrations. The initial reception arrangements were led by the Spanish Society of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (SEHOP) and the Fundación Aladina, under the coordination of the Department of Health and the Catalan Health Service. The children have been referred to reference hospitals for paediatric cancer, where they will be treated and given follow-up: SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. 

The Villavecchia Foundation and the Josep Carreras Foundations, in coordination with hospitals and a group of organisations working in the field of childhood cancer in Catalonia (the Spanish Association against Cancer [AECC], the Association of Family and Friends of Children with Cancer in Catalonia [AFANOC], the Ronald McDonald Foundation and the Red Cross in Catalonia), are managing the arrival and reception of these patients and their families. This is the second group of boys and girls with cancer to arrive in Spain after a first group of 25 patients landed in Madrid on 11th March.

At SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, reception arrangements for these minors an their families have been organised with the participation of the Admissions Unit, the Oncology Unit, special arrangements for nursing and ancillary healthcare staff, Social Services, the team of volunteers and the Child Welfare team and Ukrainian interpreters, with the collaboration of the international patient care team. 

The Health Minister of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia, Josep Maria Argimon, has explained that Catalan hospitals are ready to treat these children who are fleeing a shocking humanitarian situation caused by the war. Thousands of boys and girls have had to suspend their treatment, which may limit their chances for recovery. The aim is that, when they arrive in Barcelona, they can continue with the treatments they have had to stop and receive comprehensive medical, social and mental health care. 

According to the calculations of the Executive Government of Catalonia, three weeks after the start of the war, more than 8,000 people of Ukrainian origin have arrived in Catalonia.