Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society (FoCP), International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, arrived in Tanzania on Tuesday to support children with cancer and discuss the developments of the disease and patients and possible ways to fight the disease on the global stage.
The visit by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi to Tanzania comes within the framework of a partnership agreement signed with the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC) in February, under the terms of which Her Highness took an the role of a primary active and influential partner of the UICC in its upcoming projects, including the Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development (GICR) and the UICC’s Global Education and Training Initiative (GETI).
The agreement came after The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) named Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi as the International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, in June 2013.
Her Highness’s visit schedule includes her participation in the 11th African Conference of International Society of Pediatric Oncology, hosted by the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam from 23-25 April, in the presence of Tanzania’s First Lady Salma Kikwete. Sheikha Jawaher will also visit a number of childhood cancer hospitals dedicated to treating children with cancer in Dar es Salaam.
The two-day conference, held under the theme “Childhood Cancer Care in Africa: Excellence in Action’, is aimed at highlighting the outstanding initiatives and efforts that have contributed to improving care of children and scaling up those services with the ultimate goal of improving timely access to care and treatment, as well as helping reduce the incidence of cancer among children.
The conference will see the participation of high-profile government officials from various African countries, alongside representatives of international cancer organisations, most notably the World Health Organization, the Union for International Cancer Control, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in addition to professionals and caregivers in the healthcare sector in Africa, as well as the representatives of a number of international pharmaceutical companies.
Sheikha Jawaher’s selection as an ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration comes in recognition of her outstanding efforts at both the local and international level and her significant contribution towards supporting cancer control policies, which includes the launch of initiatives aimed at raising public awareness about the danger of cancer and the importance of early detection, and providing best methods of treatment and care for patients as well as their families.
In 1999, Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi established Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) – a charity dedicated to providing financial, moral, and psychological support to cancer patients and their families in the UAE where she initiated various nationwide campaigns that helped spread public awareness about cancer.
Her Highness is also patron of Pink Caravan – an initiative launched by the FoCP in 2011- with direct support from His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah. The Pink Caravan initiative has contributed significantly to promoting awareness of the importance of the early detection of breast cancer, and has facilitated widespread access to regular screenings and medical check-ups.
In her capacity as the International Ambassador for Pediatric Cancer in the world, Sheikha Jawaher last year visited the Children’s Cancer Centre of Lebanon, an affiliate of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the USA, where she met with patients and learned about their experiences. On the occasion of this visit, Her Highness presented a library that contains many children books to the hospital. Sheikha Jawaher has been one of the main supporters of the hospital since 2007.
Sub-Saharan African countries, including Tanzania, have been witnessing an increase in the proportion of children with malignant tumours where it is estimated that Tanzanian healthcare facilities receive at least 2,500 new cases of cancer every year. This has prompted local authorities in Tanzania to launch the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), which was approved by the Ministry of Health in 1999, and is considered a model of care for cancer patients at the level of the African continent.
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