Muscat: For the first time since its inception as Oman Cancer Association (OCA), the group formed the human ribbon, with participation from 2,700 schoolchildren to mark World Cancer Day.
The event, held at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on February 4, saw the participation of students from both public and private schools in Muscat. The first human ribbon was organised in 2008 when OCA was still registered as the National Association of Cancer Awareness.
Speaking exclusively to the Times of Oman, Dr. Wahid Al Kharusi, President of OCA, said that this year’s World Cancer Day was extremely important to them and their main aim was solely to raise more awareness.
“World Cancer Day 2019 was very important, keeping in mind the rise in cancer cases in the Sultanate, such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer and lung cancer, especially, in people who smoke. This year, our main motive was to spread as much awareness as possible.”
“We organised, with much effort, the human ribbon, which comprised 2,700 students standing in the shape of a ribbon to express solidarity and support towards cancer awareness. We also had various other events such as hug-a-bear for children suffering from cancer. The idea of the event was to have a day of fun, entertainment and one filled with gifts for the children,” Al Kharusi said.
He added that they are also grateful to Royal Opera House Muscat for being lit up in three colours—orange, pink and blue—to mark World Cancer Day.
The association organised various events across cities in the Sultanate that included Sur, Ibri, Bahla, Salalah and Muscat. “Hug-a-bear” was organised at the Royal Oman Hospital, in which OCA staff met with the parents and cancer patients to hand out gifts, as well as to cut a cake in the shape of a bear. Other cities had other infotainment activities organised throughout the day that included awareness about cancer, the importance of regular screening and early diagnosis.
To mark the day, the team has been working on these events for the past three months. OCA urged more people to support them in any way possible —be it in terms of cash, kind or manpower, such as volunteers.