Shaikha 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 on her mission to support children with cancer. She will also discuss the developments of the disease, patients and possible ways to fight the disease on the global stage.
Shaikha’s association with cancer awareness campaigns
In 1999, Shaikha Jawaher Al Qasimi established 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.
She is also patron of Pink Caravan – an initiative launched by the FoCP in 2011– with direct support from 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.
Her 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 April 23-25, in the presence of Tanzania’s First Lady Salma Kikwete. Shaikha Jawaher will also visit a number of childhood cancer hospitals dedicated to treating children with cancer in Dar es Salaam.
The conference, under the theme “Childhood Cancer Care in Africa: Excellence in Action’, is aimed at highlighting the outstanding initiatives and efforts that have contributed in reducing the incidence of cancer among children.
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, 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.
Shaikha Jawaher’s visit to Tanzania comes within the framework of a partnership agreement signed with the UICC in February, under which she took on the role of a primary active and influential partner of the UICC in its upcoming projects, including the Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development and the UICC’s Global Education and Training Initiative.
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 Organisation, UICC, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Professionals and caregivers in the healthcare sector in Africa, as well as the representatives of a number of international pharmaceutical companies are also taking part in the conference.
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