Objective Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is the most common childhood malignancy in sub-Saharan Africa. Survival rates for NHL are higher than 80% in high-income countries. This study explores treatment outcomes of children with NHL in Kenya, a sub-Saharan low-income country, and the association between health insurance status at diagnosis and treatment outcomes. Design This was a retrospective medical records study. All children diagnosed with NHL in 2010, 2011 and 2012 were included. Data on treatment outcomes and health insurance status at diagnosis were collected. results Of all 63 patients with NHL, 35% abandoned treatment, 22% had progressive or relapsed disease, 14% died and 29% had event-free survival. Most patients (73%) had no health insurance at diagnosis. Treatment outcomes in children with or without health insurance at diagnosis differed significantly (p=0.005). The most likely treatment outcome in children with health insurance at diagnosis was event-free survival (53%), whereas in children without health insurance at diagnosis it was abandonment of treatment (44%). Crude HR for treatment failure was 3.1 (95% CI 1.41 to 6.60, p=0.005) for uninsured versus insured children. The event-free survival estimate was significantly higher in children with health insurance at diagnosis than in patients without health insurance at diagnosis (p=0.003). Stage of disease at diagnosis was identified as a confounder of this association (adjusted HR=2.4, 95% CI 0.95 to 6.12, p=0.063). conclusions Survival of children with NHL in Kenya is much lower compared with high-income countries. Abandonment of treatment is the most common cause of treatment failure. Health insurance at diagnosis was associated with better treatment outcomes and survival.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health