Called for supporting the humanitarian and national efforts made by organizations to fight the disease
Sharjah: Board of directors of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), world’s largest cancer fighting organization, has named Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al-Qasimi wife of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Founder and royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society (FoCP) as the official International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration and the first WCD International Ambassador for Pediatric Cancer in the world.
The honor comes in recognition of Her Highness’ outstanding efforts at both the local and international level and her significant contribution towards cancer control, which includes the launch of initiatives aimed at raising public awareness about the risk and symptoms of cancer and the importance of early detection, and providing best methods of treatment and care for patients as well as their families.
Sheikha Jawaher is the first Ambassador for Childhood Cancer in the world and the second Arab ambassador to be chosen by the UICC for World Cancer Declaration following the selection of HRH Princess Dina Mired, Director General of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF). The UICC is the largest cancer fighting organization in the world and works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) in its global efforts to eradicate cancer. The body also has a consultative status with the United Nations’ (UN) Economic and Social Council.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi considered her selection as an honor and a greater responsibility towards the international community in general, and children, in particular. Her Highness laid emphasis on exerting utmost efforts to convey the message of the UICC to every part of the world and to contribute fully in raising public awareness about cancer, and the importance of fighting it through awareness campaigns as well as scientific research and the development of treatment centers. She highly appreciated the support extended by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi in the efforts to spread awareness of cancer – a disease which has become a challenge to humanity, more so due to its high worldwide incidence in recent years.
Her Highness emphasized that cancer disease requires intensive and collective official, scientific, financial, along with social efforts to root out the disease in its entirety. She called for supporting the humanitarian and national efforts made by cancer organizations all over the world and said, “This malignant disease poses a vicious risk to the individual as well as the community, in addition to, the high cost of medication and treatment which patients may face. This requires involvement and contribution from individuals and institutions, as cancer is no longer a personal problem. The rising rate of cancer incidence makes it a public issue that requires shared responsibility among all to fight and control this malice as much as possible.”
Her Highness expressed pride in the achievements of the Friends of Cancer Patients in a span of few years. The charity was able to achieve a series of milestones on the local and regional levels. She highlighted the importance of early detection and regular checkups which help increase chances of recovery. She expressed hope to see collaborations among healthcare, social and media institutions in the effort to spread the necessary awareness.
Cary Adams, CEO of UICC, congratulated Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi for joining the UICC World Cancer Declaration Ambassadors Program to help fight against cancer, particularly childhood cancers, which threaten the lives of younger generations. He said that the UICC is looking forward to see Her Highness advocate their efforts on local and international levels and support the World Cancer Declaration and the UICC vision and mission.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi has recently 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. She presented to the hospital a library that contains many children books including Hello Pumpkins, Goodbye Cancer!, the recently published book by FoCP and Kalimat Publishing House. Sheikha Jawaher is one of the supporters of the hospital since 2007.
Her Highness’ selection as an ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration reflects the international recognition of her initiatives which resulted in raising awareness of cancer while supporting patients. Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi Qasimi has made huge achievements in this regard mainly the launch the Friends of Cancer Patients in 1999 with a vision to deliver the best charity service to society. Over the past 30 years, Her Highness has played a pivotal role in social development of the emirate of Sharjah by paying special attention to the welfare of family and children and exerting continues efforts to develop and grow the community as well as to maintain its values and principles.
The FoCP’s main objective is to deliver moral, financial, psychological and clinical support to cancer patients and their families in the UAE, with a primary focus on promoting awareness around early detectable cancers within the UAE community. Since its inception in 1999, the charity has helped over 900 patients and their families in collaboration with a number of ministries, government authorities and the private sector.
As part of its commitment to full transparency and accountability, the FoCP has set up KASHF program, which aims to monitor the performance efficiency of all processes under FoCP’s umbrella, in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in all educational and fundraising initiatives and reach largest segment of the community.
Through the FoCP Sheikha Jawaher links the UICC childhood cancer program with an important initiative launched by Her Highness, named ‘Salam Ya Seghar‘, a fund which was initiated in 2010 and which is directed towards improving education, health and welfare of Palestinian children.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher has taken serious interest in community development by taking care of family development in general, with a particular focus on childhood, through the establishment of many authorities and organizations to serve the emirate of Sharjah.
The FoCP has been paying special attention to childhood cancer programs. In 2011, the FoCP adopted a number of volunteering initiatives that aimed at spreading joy and hope among children suffering from cancer, including the weekly Fun Cart which visited oncology wards at the country’s hospital to give away gifts, toys and candies to the young cancer patients.
His Highness Ruler of Sharjah has recently announced, during the signing ceremony of a cooperation agreement between the University Hospital – Sharjah and the InstituteGustave-Roussy in France, to set up a breast cancer centre at the hospital, in which Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher is seeking to establish a pediatric cancer hospital to serve the region. The planned hospital will be developed to the highest international standards and will include a hotel which will offer accommodation for parents during their children’s treatment period.
The Pink Caravan, which is an initiative launched by the FoCP in 2011 under the patronage of Her Highness and the direct support of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah, functions under the umbrella of the ‘KASHF’ program to promote awareness of the importance of the early detection of breast cancer. KASHF also works towards providing information and guidance to facilitate the early detection of many types of cancer, i.e. breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate, melanoma, and colon cancer. Through the Pink Caravan initiative, the FoCP leads a country-wide campaign to raise awareness on the importance of early detection in breast cancer and to encourage both women and men to perform self-examinations and go for regular medical check-ups.
The Pink Caravan also aims to lobby for the creation of the first UAE National Cancer Registry, and raise sufficient funds to purchase and operate a state of the art mobile mammography unit that will provide free breast cancer screenings. The Pink Caravan horseback journey takes place every year across all seven emirates of the UAE, including remote and outlying areas. Over 500 experienced equine riders join forces annually, garnering support from different sectors, bringing together schools, universities, business corporations, the private and the public sector, media and royalty to advocate the cause. To date, the Pink Caravan has provided early breast cancer detection examinations to over 21,000 people, including men and women, Emiratis and expatriates across the UAE.
The World Cancer Declaration (WCD) Ambassadors are committed to help the UICC in securing the necessary resources to implement its programs of priority and deliver the World Cancer Declaration targets by 2020. WCD ambassadors help in highlighting the UICC efforts in the fight against cancer all over the world, in collaboration with government and other stakeholders, in order to give priority in world health programs to cancer prevention and treatment.
The Union for International Cancer Control is a non-government organization that was established to help the global health community accelerate the fight against cancer. Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, UICC’s growing membership of over 760 organizations across 155 countries, features the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes and patient groups