Posted on May 17, 2018

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has announced the development of Qatar’s first cross-organisational cancer awareness calendar through a unique collaboration and partnership between some of the leading domestic healthcare organisations. The National Health Strategy 2018-2022 aims to reduce early deaths from cancer and other chronic diseases by 25% by 2025.

The collaboration includes MoPH, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Qatar Cancer Society. The calendar reflects the collaborative efforts of health partners towards achieving the vision of the National Cancer Framework 2017-2022 and provides an opportunity for uniting efforts by stakeholders within Qatar to join forces to raise the awareness of cancer and reduce the local cancer burden. The calendar identifies dedicated cancer awareness months based on evidence-based incidence data published by the Qatar National Cancer Registry. It also recognises international cancer awareness days. This annual calendar will also highlight National Cancer Framework initiatives including cancer awareness ambassadors and the experiences of patients living with cancer and cancer survivors.

Dr Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of Public health Department, MoPH said, “The participation of Public Health Department in the development of the cancer awareness calendar comes from the fact that no one organisation or body or even government – no matter  how hard they try – can on its own achieve the objectives of combating cancer. Therefore, we believe it is crucial to use this calendar to co-ordinate and synergise the efforts of all partners to reduce early deaths from cancer and other chronic diseases by 25% by 2025, which is the target, set by the National Health Strategy 2018-2022”.

Catherine Gillespie, director of the National Cancer Programme within MoPH, said, “The launch of the National Cancer Framework last year has renewed the commitment for stakeholders to work together to improve the awareness of the population about the risks of developing cancer. We look forward to ongoing collaboration in public awareness events.”

Michel Harkous’, director of Nursing and Education, National Centre for Cancer Care and  Research, HMC said, “The development of Qatar’s first cross-organisational calendar is a great opportunity for health partners to work closer than ever before. Our joint efforts over the years have significantly improved the survival rates for cancer patients through education, diagnosis and treatment. Cancer has a significant impact on the lives of Qatar’s population and the only way to reduce its impact is through collaboration, partnership and teamwork”.

Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha, cancer programme manager, PHCC said, “This is another important step forward in our collaborative efforts to ease the burden of cancer on Qatar and its people. This co-ordinated calendar allows us to further develop our awareness drives and outreach initiatives to achieve maximum results and engage with a wider audience. PHCC is proud to be part of this co-operation that works towards creating a healthier community.” All stakeholders and partners are encouraged to contribute to the battle against cancer by using this calendar to help raise awareness of the disease.  All government and private organisations are thereby invited to get involved in initiating cancer awareness activities based on this calendar.

source: Gulf Times