Nutrition support for kids affected by cancer now in B'luru

 Identifying adequate nutrition as one of the primary aspects in the fight against cancer, Mumbai-based Cuddles Foundation, which provides nutrition support to underprivileged, cancer-afflicted children, is extending its services to Bengaluru.

The Foundation has tied up with Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Centre and St Johns Hospital in Bengaluru. The foundation has its presence across various cities in the country including Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Purnota Bahl, Founder and CEO, Cuddles Foundation said malnourished children with cancer were five times as likely to die of other side-effects of cancer.

“When it comes to underprivileged children, families usually abandon the treatment as they are unable to afford the costs. For a treatment like chemotherapy, unless the body is well nourished, it will be unable to withstand the medical procedure. As much as 70 per cent of children who come to government hospitals are malnourished. Thirty to forty per cent of these kids will not survive.” Bahl explained.

While the cost of cancer treatment would come to about Rs 2.5 lakh, if one were to add another Rs 15,000, the child’s nutrition cost would be covered and the child would respond to the treatment better, she added.

As part of their intervention, the foundation provides food to not just the children but to their parents as well. Giving a glimpse into the effect of this intervention, Bahl stated that once the nutritional needs of children and parents were fulfilled, the abandonment rate went down from 20 per cent to 2.7 per cent.

The organisation also works towards capacity building in hospitals. The foundation appoints a nutritionist to the hospital who will then carry out nutritional assessment of the cancer-afflicted children, counsel the patients and their parents. Those interested in contributing towards the cause may visit www.cuddlesfoundation.com and get in touch with the team on any of the numbers mentioned on the website, Bahl added.

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