Sheikh Sultan also stressed on the importance of campaign against bad lifestyle choices like smoking and introducing effective vaccinations.
Community-wide efforts are required to safeguard people’s health and wellbeing by promoting healthy habits, said His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
During the opening ceremony of the third Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan also stressed on the importance of campaign against bad lifestyle choices like smoking and introducing effective vaccinations.
“More than 18 million cases of cancer were discovered in 2018 and we have lost 900,600 men and women to it. According to the World Health Organisation, there will be a 60 per cent increase in cancer incidences in the next 20 years, with 81 per cent cases surfacing in nations that have a lower level of socioeconomic development, and whose health infrastructure and living conditions need significant improvements,” Sheikh Sultan said.
“However, in the past few years, there has been tremendous development towards finding a cure for cancer. We thank torchbearers like Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi and Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP), all the delegates attending this forum for their tireless efforts, which make it possible for the world to identify such fatal non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in their early stages and treat them effectively,” the Sharjah Ruler added.
The three-day forum, organised by the FoCP in partnership with the Global NCD Alliance (NCDA), has convened 400 guests and attendees from 80 countries across six continents, including key civil society stakeholders, health experts and academics and researchers.
The inauguration ceremony on Sunday was attended by Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Sharjah Ruler, Founder and Royal Patron of FoCP, International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, and Patron of the Global NCD Alliance Forum.
Sheikha Jawaher honoured Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of the FoCP board of directors, with the Sheikha Jawaher Medal for Contribution and Excellence. Sheikha Jawaher thanked Jafar for guiding FoCP’s efforts in cancer control and healthcare, and for leading the organisation’s collaborations with members of the Global NCD Allaince to raise awareness around NCDs.
Sawsan Jafar said: “To tackle the growing burden of NCDs, we need a united whole-of-society approach, with a strong and vibrant civil society.
“As a city that puts its people and their health first and pursues a human-centric strategy for development, it is only fitting for Sharjah to host this most important international forum on non-communicable diseases,” she added.
Todd Harper, president of NCD Alliance, said: “This year, the NCD Forum will focus on action enablers, translating solutions and what works in local and national contexts. It will also offer a civil society perspective and take a political economy lens on the key catalysts for change that can bridge the major gaps in the NCD response.”
Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance, said the forum illustrates the diversity and vibrancy of the movement, encompassing NGOs, youth organisations, academia, faith-based organisations, and professional societies. It also highlights a broader shift within our movement and this shift in focus is bearing fruit.
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