+ A
A -
Ailyn Agonia
Jordanian humanitarian and health activist HRH Princess Dina Mired has underlined Qatar’s potential to be a regional hub for cancer care during a virtual session on the second day of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) on Monday.
Princess Dina, patron of the International Society for Paediatric Oncology and immediate past president of Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), said the systematic and holistic approach adopted by Qatar in cancer care since it launched the First National Cancer Control Programme in the GCC in 2011 has paved the way for the milestones in Qatar’s efforts, including leading in the region’s innovation in cancer treatment.
“When you talk about patient-centred approach, you really need to have all stakeholders on the table. You cannot talk about us, without us, as they say. You should have the patients, NGOs, private sector, the scientists and oncologists, government. Everybody sitting at one table if you really want to have a meaningful cancer control strategy and I believe this is what Qatar has done,” said Princess Dina.
“I really feel that Qatar can play a huge regional role in being the engine that showcases seriousness, the vision of the government and the political will that is accorded to it and how you all work together in a very systematic way not only with the local stakeholders but also with international partners to bring innovations to the Arab world. That is really commendable,” she added
Princess Dina also emphasised Qatar’s strategy of focusing on the basics and fundamentals of cancer care, including championing prevention and early detection.
She said, “I have seen countries with much more financial resources than Qatar but they have not done what Qatar have achieved. Qatar has done a holistic, comprehensive approach looking from prevention to early detection to treatment. That’s really the message that I will keep on advocating - the fact that you need to have a cancer control plan, you need to have cancer registry and you have to look into the system so you can achieve results.”
Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad Al Thani, director of the Public Health Department at Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, said knowing that breast cancer is the most common cancer in Qatar followed by the colon cancer has helped in deciding on which screening tests to invest in.
“We recognised the importance of prevention, high-quality treatment, quality of care and research and taking care of the mental health of cancer survivors and bringing them back to the society healthy. All these points are holistic approach for cancer care in Qatar. It seems easy but when you start working on this, it is so sophisticated and it needs a lot of willingness between sectors. We are proud that we managed and I will recommend this in other countries as well,” he said.
Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha, manager of Screening Programmes at Primary Health Care Corporation, said focusing on marketing and awareness campaigns in implementing the country’s breast and bowel cancer screening programme has been a key in the success of their initiatives.
She detailed their efforts in focusing on the target population – 45 years old and above among women for breast cancer screening and 50 years old and above among men for bowel cancer screening - and establishing a dedicated call centre.
She added that their future plans are geared towards artificial intelligence for reading images for breast and bowel cancer screenings.
Dr Georges Nemer, professor and coordinator of the Genomics and Precision Medicine Programm at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, discussed the important research they are working on and highlighted the importance of knowledge sharing among educators.
He said research and education will directly touch on patients, families, health policies and everything related to implementation at the level of hospitals and all the companies involved.
copy short url   Copy