United for Cure

Public policy to promote the early diagnosis of childhood cancer in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2003, the year of its foundation, Instituto Desiderata defined ​​Pediatric Oncology as the main area of activity. Believing in the importance of collective work to solve complex problems, it led a long process of listening, articulation, problem identification, decision-making, and the implementation of actions with a group of health professionals, specialized hospitals, and non-governmental organizations. As a result of this initiative, United for the Cure began in 2005.

Currently, Desiderata maintains its articulating role in this group, and contributes with strategic actions that speed up the arrival of children and adolescents with suspected cancer cases to the Universal Healthcare System’s (SUS) diagnostic and treatment centers. The result of this collective work was the transformation of United for the Cure into a public policy implemented in the city of Rio de Janeiro as of 2010.

United for the Cure is organized into three pillars of action:

Training of Primary Care health professionals.

Organization of the referral flow of suspected cancer cases from Primary Care to specialized hospitals.

Monitoring the results.

To know more details about this project, which for 14 years has increased the chances of cure for children with cancer in Rio de Janeiro, click here.

Main results

  • Referral flow of suspected cases from Primary Care to specialized hospitals in up to 72 hours: 41% of the suspected cases were referred within this time period, and 19% in up to 15 days. The previous average was 60 days.
  • Coverage in the municipality: 84% of the health clinics have referred patients through United for the Cure.
  • Every year, 100% of primary care units in the city of Rio de Janeiro receive communication materials about the signs and symptoms of the disease.
  • Impact on speeding up the referral of other pediatric diseases.
  • 4,090 professionals of the Family Health Strategy have been trained to suspect the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer.