Sharjah: Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has called for prioritising and intensifying scientific research and data sharing about cancer between governments and civil organisations worldwide to enhance the role of public health programmes for cancer prevention and early detection.
The call was made by Shaikha Jawaher, 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, was speaking at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, which recently concluded in Istanbul, Turkey.
She highlighted the need to set priorities for cancer research and strengthen cooperation between governments and civil organisations and the importance of collaboration across borders, through public and private partnerships.
The summit focused on the basic needs of health care for cancer patients and providing the necessary data for cancer control, highlighting successful examples of national cancer control planning and cross-disease interventions, as well as issues related to the management of conflict of interest, data sharing and international policy development.
It also discussed the role of charity organisations in supporting health and social care provided to cancer patients, as well as challenges facing patients, with a focus on support services including neuropsychology, nursing and social services. The summit also discussed the best methods of integrated care by following the example of countries leading in this field.
Shaikha Jawaher underlined the importance of setting up joint global centres for cancer research and a network of cooperation between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil societies to implement national cancer control programmes.
She highlighted the spiralling global cancer epidemic and pointed to the growing financial and psychological burden and losses caused by cancer deaths. “It would therefore be better for governments, NGOs and individuals to invest in joint international cancer research studies to save lives and protect communities from the emotional and financial consequences of cancer,” said Shaikha Jawaher.
“Cancer prevention and control programmes must be given top priority. Cancer takes a huge humanitarian toll, and is a considerable burden as cancer rates are on the rise globally. There needs to be a clear vision for action and identification of responsibilities for each party, and a need to keep pace with the global and regional developments in this field. This is vital to develop concrete action plans that would provide the necessary information to all stakeholders around the world to further contribute to the early detection of cancer and reduce its negative consequences. There is also a need to strengthen the relationship between all stakeholders in order to implement awareness programmes, provide quality palliative care, support skills development and enhance scientific research,” Shaikha Jawaher said.
Shaikha Jawaher said that the International Childhood Cancer Fund, the first of its kind in the world which she launched in May in collaboration with the UICC, is to start raising global awareness to support children with cancer worldwide.
Shaikha Jawaher said, “Children with cancer need our support to give them hope for recovery and a chance to lead a normal life. We must put childhood cancer on the development agenda to enable global organisations, in cooperation with local governments, to offer better diagnosis and treatment for children with cancer. I call on all the stakeholders and those who will benefit from the fund to use it as an international incubator in order to collect donations from states, organisations, institutions and individuals. This can then be invested in research studies, awareness campaigns, and strengthening capacity for care, treatment and funding of emergency relief projects for the treatment of children with cancer.”
Shaikha Jawaher attended a workshop during the summit titled ‘Integration of childhood cancer in child health and primary care services”.