New home for terminally ill cancer patients in Oman

Oman Sunday 03/February/2019 22:05 PM
By: Times News Service

Muscat: The Oman Cancer Association (OCA) is setting up a home for terminally ill cancer patients who could stay there for a brief period after leaving the hospital. This is being done to help a family understand the care the patients need at home.
After introducing the first Mobile Mammography Unit (MMU) in Oman and establishing Dar Al Hanan, a home for children undergoing outpatient treatment for cancer, the association is coming up with another bigger initiative for terminally ill cancer patients.
Speaking exclusively to Times of Oman, Yuthar Al Rawahy, founder and honorary life president of OCA, said: “The next thing we intend to do, and most likely it is going to be a big initiative, is the bridging of the gap between terminally ill cancer patients leaving the hospital and going home. These patients will come and stay in the home that we are setting up. We will try and support the family to look after the patient, and will help send them home once they are rehabilitated.”
“Once all this is done, we will follow up with them to see if they have any problems because it is not easy to look after a patient and it could affect the family as whole. We feel that terminally sick patients should be with their families and not be put in a home; so this will be a transition between the hospital and home. At the same time, it will free the beds in hospitals for acute patients,” she added.
This initiative, like the previous ones that included free mammography screening for over 18,000 women (both locals and expats across Oman) and housed more than 500 children along with their family members at Dar Al Hanan, will be free of charge.
“We will run this programme free of charge. Our mission and vision is to reduce the burden of cancer in the country and globally, as well as minimise the negative impact of diseases on our patients, the survivors, their families and the community,” said Dr Wahid Al Kharusi, President at OCA.
He added: “This concept has not been done before, but OCA has done a number of things that haven’t been done before so we are capable, with our sponsors and supporters. The training should not take more than two weeks and this should be directed to the patient and the relatives who are going to look after them.”
Al Rawahy, who is also a four-time cancer survivor and was first diagnosed in 1998, doesn’t believe in hospitals and therefore has been working towards helping both families and patients battling the deadly disease, cancer, by providing ease and comfort.
“I want to thank His Majesty the Sultan and ask Allah to keep him healthy, and those who welcomed us and took us to the hospital. Also, I want to thank the Omani people, who are kind, and the whole crew who took care and gave us everything. We did not feel as if we were strangers,” said the father of Ali Abdullah, a five-year-old boy diagnosed with lymphoma.
Hailing from Yemen, Ali, along with his parents has been staying at Dar Al Hanan for a year and a half, and is undergoing treatment at Royal Oman Hospital (ROH).
“The treatment has been successful and things are looking well now,” the father added.
Starting a Children’s Room at ROH, launching the MMU and introducing palliative care across the Sultanate are some of the achievements of OCA. It has also been awarded with the United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA) and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Award for Voluntary Work, among other accolades.