International columnist, political analyst and senior journalist Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui’s articles are published across Asia, Africa and Europe. He writes for The Moroccan Times, The Tunis Times, India Tomorrow, Kohram News, The Etemaad Urdu Daily and for news papers published from Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. You can follow him on Twitter at: @journopolana[/symple_box]
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman(TMT)- The Oman Cancer Association (OCA) organized the 12th annual walkathon at the picturesque Qurum Nature Park in Muscat on Tuesday under the patronage of H. E Dr Abdulmunim bin Mansour bin Said al Hasani, Minister of Information, Sultanate of Oman.
The theme –‘Don’t wait till it’s too late’ attracted the attention of thousands of walkers for the 2km walk. It was aimed at spreading awareness regarding cancer. The event saw many families at the park accompanied by young children and toddlers as there was a play area for children. The tiny tots watched their parents gleefully as they took the walk. The noble cause for which their parents walked is yet to dawn on the young minds.
Yuthar al Rawahy, a multiple-time cancer survivor is the chairperson of the OCA. Speaking to The Moroccan Times, Yuthar al Rawahy emphasized the need to support cancer survivors and raise funds for the cancer association. ‘All of us need to join hands and spread awareness regarding the risks and hazards of this deadly disease. We have to inform and educate cancer patients about their condition, available treatment modalities, so that they fully cooperate with doctors and utilize the benefits of the available treatment to the maximum’ observed the OCA chairperson. Expressing her desire to support the healthcare providers, Yuthar opined that, ‘the healthcare providers work tirelessly with patients and they have to be supported along with researchers who are trying to isolate this disease and identify its causes and treatment. It is through such activities that we can support our families and especially those who are at high risk of getting the disease. Our priority is capacity building especially in the encouragement and development of cancer counselors.’
Dr Manal al Zadjali, a board member of Oman Cancer Association, termed the event as a grand success. She resolved to continue bringing awareness about breast cancer and save precious human lives. The walkathon and The Pink Initiative was organized by volunteers assigned to OCA by Petroleum Development Oman as part of the Bader Initiative. It is significant to recall that the Oman Cancer Association was recently awarded the GCC Award for Public Service for the Al Hanan Project. The walkathon in Muscat was followed by a musical programme and a raffle draw to sustain interest for the event.
‘Breast cancer ranks second in global cancer incidence. It is reported that the incidence of breast cancer is increasing at the rate of 3–4% in developing countries. The Sultanate of Oman is a developing country in the Gulf region with a developing health care system. Breast cancer in Omani women accounts for approximately 32% of the total cancer cases and is the second leading cause of mortality in Oman.’
On the other hand, breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in women in Morocco. It is one of the most pressing public health problems, because the diagnosis is often delayed and the management is difficult and expensive. According to the population register of the Casablanca city, the annual national cancer incidence is estimated at 35,000 new cancer cases a year of which only 12,000 are supported. However, this incidence tends to decrease in recent years due to a prevention tool that has so far proven effective in reducing mortality from breast cancer namely mammography screening and by stabilizing several risk factors like late age at first pregnancy, less of breastfeeding etc.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect 3 corrections.
Initially, the image caption assumed that Abdallah bin Ahmed Al Rubaeiy was mobbed by his fans. The people in the picture are not fans, but staff members of the educational institution where Mr. bin Al Rubaeiy works as a Dean.
Also, the article stated that the walkathon was part of an awareness campaign for breast cancer. The truth is that it was part of an awareness campaign for all cancers, not just the breast one.
Finally, the article stated that Dr. Manal Al Zadjali is a board member of the walkathon. Dr. Al Zadjali is a board member of the Oman Cancer Association.