Muscat: The National Association for Cancer Awareness (NACA) has completed 10 years of its successful existence and to mark this milestone, the association would be organising a fund-raising dinner on December 3.
Dr Wahid Al Kharusi, NACA secretary-general, said that the training of 800 Omani volunteers for palliative care until 2015 in batches will be one of the upcoming activities of NACA, which has already conducted an introductory course in palliative care for community and hospital nurses in Oman.
Another important event that will mark the milestone would be the expected premier on December 3 at Shatti cinema of upcoming Hindi film titled Khiladi 786, which features Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar and Asin, which was partly shot in Oman. The negotiations for the premier are being finalised and would be announced after the logistics have been sorted out, he said.
Soud Al Rawahy, vice-president of NACA, said, "From a small group, NACA has now become the pride of Oman as it has been successful in reducing the number of cancer patients in Oman.
"Our walkathon, when it was first held, had 300 participants and the last one saw 5,000
Dr Wahid Kharusi said that Dar Al Hanan, an initiative of NACA, which was launched about two years ago, serves as a temporary home for children from outside Muscat governorate undergoing outpatient treatment for cancer, and their families. Some 16 children can stay at a time at this home.
"It is because of all stake holders that we have been able to attain success in our goals," Dr Wahid said.
"The fact that school children help us to raise funds through projects indicates the importance of NACA in containing the dreaded disease," he added.
"The Association has faced a number of challenges, but through strong resolve, leadership and strategy, we managed to overcome them.
"We started without an office, meeting in the founder's home to a two-bedroom flat and with the grace of Almighty God, we are now accommodated in an adequate office. This was only possible because of the support of different stakeholders and philanthropists."
He further observed, "The five pillars of our objectives were successfully fulfilled. The awareness in the country about cancer has enhanced. The capacity building and human resources development programme is very successful. We have supported a number of research programmes. Finally, we have managed to improve the care of the patients and their families through patient empowerment.
"A number of flagship projects have been developed and implemented successfully and with sustainability, such as the mobile mammography service which has travelled across the Sultanate reaching out to women for free mammography-screening service. We have managed to screen more than 6,445 women in the last two years."
Dr Wahid further added: 'This project won His Majesty First Class Award in 2011 for service to the community and also the United Nations prize for public service in the gender section. The Dar Al Hanaan project for children with cancer has proven its positive impact regarding the management of children with cancer who live outside the capital."