Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi talks with Sawsan Jafar, right, during the NCDA Forum.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi has stressed on the need to coalesce community-wide efforts to safeguard people’s health and wellbeing by promoting healthy habits, rally against bad lifestyle choices like smoking and introducing effective vaccinations.
Delivering the welcome address at the inaugural ceremony of the third Global NCD Alliance (NCDA) Forum in Sharjah on Sunday, he said, “More than 18 million cases of cancer were discovered in 2018 and we have lost 900,600 men and women to it. According to 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.”
“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 in their early stages and treat them effectively,” the Sharjah Ruler added.
The three-day forum, organised by the Friends Of Cancer Patients (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 to hold key discussions on strengthening the global response against non-communicable diseases (NCDs), at a time when NCDs are responsible for 41 million or 71 per cent of all deaths worldwide.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, 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.
Also present on the occasion were Chairperson of the FOCP Sawsan Jafar and UAE Minister of Health & Prevention Abdul Rahman Mohamed Al Oweis, besides other dignitaries.
During the event, Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi honoured Sawsan Jafar with “The Sheikha Jawaher Medal for Contribution and Excellence”.
She thanked Jafar for guiding FOCP’s efforts in cancer control and healthcare years, and for leading the non-profit’s collaborations with members of the global NCD civil society to raise awareness around NCDs, galvanise stakeholder action and support efforts to reverse the NCD epidemic.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi also welcomed all attendees of the forum to Sharjah, thanking them for their continued commitment to working together for the creation a more equitable and healthier future for everyone around the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Sawsan Jafar emphasised, “To tackle the growing burden of NCDs, we need a united whole-of-society approach, with a strong and vibrant civil society. Sharjah has been working hand-in-hand with the NCD Alliance to encourage stronger participation at this key global meeting for NCD civil society, and the facts speak for themselves. Forty-three national and regional alliances participated in the first Global NCD Alliance Forum in 2015. I am proud to say that at this Forum, we have 65 alliances lending their participation and support.”
“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.
Jafar also asserted Sharjah’s support to the countries that have been gripped by the coronavirus outbreak. “We want to say we are ready to face all challenges and address them,” she affirmed.
Recollecting the Forum’s previous achievements, Todd Harper, President of NCD Alliance, said, “The third Global NCDA Forum will build on the successes of the first two editions by mobilising key civil society stakeholders and consolidating the Forum as the key global meeting for the NCD civil society. Since its inception in 2009, the NCD Alliance has been a major catalyst in securing political priority for NCDs at the global level.”
Sheikh Sultan stressed the importance of teaching the Arabic language to students, and developing its teaching methods, and encouraging students to learn it.
The third Global NCD (Non-Communicable Diseases) Alliance Forum taking place, February 9–11, begins in Sharjah tomorrow, Sunday, at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah.
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