First Cross-Organizational Cancer Awareness Calendar

Qatar’s first cross-organizational cancer awareness calendar has been developed through a unique collaboration and partnership between some of the country’s leading healthcare organizations who work towards the prevention and treatment of cancer. The collaboration includes the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Qatar Cancer Society (QCS).  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.

Ms. Catherine Gillespie, Director of the National Cancer Programme (NCP) within the 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”.

Dr. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Hamad  Al-Thani, Director of the Public health Department, MOPH said: “The participation of the Public Health Department in the development of the cancer awareness calendar comes from the fact that no one organization 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 coordinate and synergize 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”.

Mr. Michel Harkous, Director of Nursing and Education, National Center for Cancer Care Research, HMC said: “The development of Qatar’s first cross-organizational 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 Program 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 coordinated 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 cooperation that works towards creating a healthier community.”

Mariam al-Noaimi, General Manager of the Qatar Cancer Society welcomed all avenues of cooperation with all health organizations in the State of Qatar, which is beneficial to everyone who lives in Qatar and serves the Qatar National Vision 2030. She noted that cancer control needs constant cooperation between all institutions and agencies in Qatar, explaining that QCS cannot work alone. “This calendar reflects the real cooperation between health sectors that work together in cancer awareness,” she said.

The calendar identifies dedicated cancer awareness months based on evidence-based incidence data published by the Qatar National Cancer Registry. It also recognizes 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 beyond cancer (i.e. cancer survivors).

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 organizations are thereby invited to get involved in initiating cancer awareness activities based on this calendar. The calendar can be accessed by downloading an electronic copy from the MOPH website or requesting a hard copy from the National Cancer Program.

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