MOH News
Gulf Cancer Awareness Campaign to be Launched Next Sunday under Theme: “40% Protection 40% Cure”
26 January 2016
His Excellency the Minister of Health and Chairman of the 40th session of the GCC Health Ministers Council, Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, will launch the Cancer Awareness Campaign in the GCC, under the theme: “40% Protection 40% Cure”. It will be launched at the Ministry of Health's (MOH) Main Auditorium, on Sunday January 31st, 2016 (corresponding to Rabie Al-Akher 21st, 1437H) 
 
The Director General of the Executive Board of the GCC Health Ministers’ Council, Prof. Tawfik Khoja, revealed that this campaign coincides with the celebration of world countries of the World Cancer Day which is marked on February 4th every year. 
 
He pointed out that the campaign aims at raising the level of awareness about the cancer risk factors, promoting environment protection (water, food and air), upgrading general professional health and raising levels of health awareness about means of early detection of cancer which increases chances of recovery, as well as activating the national programs for combating cancer, as a joint responsibility between governmental and non-governmental sectors. 
    
“The campaign has been launched under the theme: “40/40”, based on the scientific evidence showing that 40% of cancer diseases can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle, healthy food habits, physical activities and maintaining healthy weight, while the other 40% of cases can be cured, Allah willing, if diagnosed early and received treatment at the proper time,” said Khojah.
 
In this sense, this awareness campaign is considered one of the important community initiatives, which promotes the concept of social responsibility, with the aim of achieving one of the comprehensive and sustainable health development pillars. Besides, the campaign is reckoned the first Gulf initiative to be launched simultaneously in all GCC countries, he added. 
 
He pointed out that the importance of this campaign stems from the international concern about the disease as a global health problem, due to the fact that it is one of the main causes of other diseases worldwide, affecting individuals and community, given that its causes and types vary between the various regions of the world. Thus, cancer is considered a very risky social, humanitarian and economic problem, gripping the developed and developing countries alike, and the second cause of death worldwide, where the cancer cases have reached more than 14 million patients in 2012 and is expected to reach about 21 million patients by 2030. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that 40% of cancer diseases could be prevented and 40% of other cancer diseases could be cured if diagnosed early and treated immediately, the matter which prompted the organizers of this campaign to launch it under the theme: “40/40”.
      
Since the Gulf community is not isolated from the world events, the documented data of the Gulf Center for Cancer Registration (GCCR), based on the national records of the GCC states, showed that more than 119,000 cases of cancer had been recorded among the GCC citizens, over the period from January 1998 to December 2009 (with an incidence rate of 72-158/100,000 persons), such a rate which is much lower than the one in other countries. However, the incidence of cancer in the Gulf region is expected to increase during the coming decade; due to the change of lifestyle and the increase of risk factors, including smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity and other environmental causes and changes in the genetic mutations. In addition, statistics show that more than 60% of the Gulf society is under the age of 21 years, in such a young society, the rate of cancer is increasing with aging.
 
Concluding his statement, Khojah extended his sincere thanks and appreciation to Al-Falih, for sponsoring this Gulf campaign, meanwhile highlighting that his sponsorship will help raise awareness against cancer in the GCC States, and provide the best practices in the developed countries. He also thanked the MOH staff and all committees and organizers for their efforts exerted to launch such important campaign. 
 
 
 



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