Sharjah, 19 Jan. 2013 (WAM) – H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al-Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, in her capacity as founder and royal patron of the UAE Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) charity, met with the CEO for the UICC and Chairman of the NCD Alliance Cary Adams and UICC officials at the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland today to discuss various means of collaboration between the two entities.
This milestone meeting was also attended by Noura Al Noman Director General of Sheikha Jawaher’s Executive Office, Erum Mazher Alvie Adviser on Management and Development, Ameera BinKaram, President of the Board Of Trustees and a founding member of the FoCP, and Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi FoCP Secretary General.
Speaking of the visit HH Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi said: "FoCP has been a member of the UICC since 2010 and has participated in many global, regional and local cancer awareness initiatives and sustainable cancer early detection campaigns with the UICC. The meeting in Geneva serves to emphasise the continuous forward motion of the UAE’s cancer awareness campaigns with FoCP aim focus is to help promote cancer awareness in the UAE and, with the help of the UICC, this goal is becoming increasingly plausible." During the meeting several important topics were discussed. The first topic looked at the bond shared between FoCP and the UICC since 2008, and Her Highness listened to a detailed presentation from the UICC on how FoCP had managed to implement various UICC initiatives during the renowned annual "World Cancer Day" – which is marked on 4th February each year – even before becoming an official UICC member.
Topics chosen by the UICC for "World Cancer Day" each year focus on and highlight an important cancer awareness theme. In 2008 the slogan was "I love my smoke-free childhood", which advocated against second-hand smoke; 2009 promoted a healthier lifestyle to combat cancer through "I love my healthy, active childhood"; and 2010 onwards saw the UICC focus on cancer as being a preventable disease during its annual campaigns. It also lobbied for the "World Cancer Declaration" to be adopted by everyone in the world.
The presentation highlighted how the FoCP’s role in adopting and implementing these initiatives throughout the years has had an enormous positive impact on the UAE community and how cancer is prevented.
The second point on the agenda was the UICC Childhood Cancer Programme (ChiCa), which seeks to ensure that decision makers around the world understand the importance of early treatment of cancer in children to ensure a full recovery. Consideration was given to linking ChiCa with another important initiative headed by Sheikha Jawaher called "Salam Ya Seghar", a fund which was initiated in 2010 and which is directed towards improving the education, health and welfare of Palestinian children.
This topic was of special importance to Her Highness as childhood and family-related issues have always been close to her heart, a fact reflected in the humanitarian work undertaken by Sheikha Jawaher over the past30 years.
Sheikha Jawaher has worked tirelessly to advance the community by developing the family unit in general, and children in particular, through the establishment of numerous entities and organisations.
Childhood cancer was a an important focus for FoCP since 2011, with lots of important initiatives and programs initiated that year of which the "Candy Cart" was one of them, where a cart filled with toys, games and candy roams the pediatric oncology departments in UAE based hospitals bringing joy and happiness to sick children and their families.
Another important topic raised at the meeting was the location of the Middle East’s first regional UICC branch; a new and ambitious plan aimed at bringing the UICC closer to its MENA region and Asia Pacific member organisations.
With faith in the UICC and its mission, Sheikha Jawaher extended an invitation to the UICC to consider opening their Middle East branch in Sharjah, stating that the emirate’s excellent location would be ideal for the UICC as it is not only thriving, but its geographical location enables it to provide easy access to the entire region.
Commenting on this important meeting Cary Adams, CEO of UICC and Chairman of the NCD Alliance said: "FOCP has been an exemplary UICC Member with whom we have enjoyed working with since 2008. We at UICC were honoured by receiving Her Highness’s visit and very much appreciate her and her team’s support in our global work and initiatives. We look forward to a closer collaboration with the FOCP’s team in order to lower the cancer burden in the Middle East and globally." The UICC is a membership organisation that exists to help the global health community accelerate the fight against cancer. Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, the UICC’s growing membership of over 760 organisations across 155 countries, features the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes and patient groups.