The event, the Access to Essential Medicines for Children with Cancer (Sharjah PORTAGE), themed Challenges and Pursuit of Innovative Solutions, will take place on January 16-17 at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Cancer (JRCC) under the auspices of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Founder and Royal Patron of FoCP, International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC.
The Sharjah PORTAGE aims to address the best solutions to accessing childhood cancer treatment essentials such as medicines and radiotherapy in low- and middle-income countries. It also seeks to provide a strategic action plan that ensures implementing an integrated approach to achieve these objectives. Hosting the event aligns with FoCP’s ever-increasing efforts to combat cancer in general and childhood cancer in particular.
The roundtable aims to determine innovative financing mechanisms and identify partners to implement initiatives, as well as establish effective communication methods between medical entities and stakeholders.
HE Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of FoCP's Board of Directors, said: “Fighting cancer is one of Sharjah’s main health priorities, not just within the emirate or the UAE, but across the world. It has sponsored, launched and implemented an array of local and international initiatives, including Sharjah Laboratory, which was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, in London last year at which she donated GBP 500,000 to the laboratory to support cancer research.
“Today, the Emirate of Sharjah further enhances international efforts to combat cancer through hosting this high level roundtable which will discuss the most effective ways to alleviate the suffering of children with cancer in poorer countries and how to provide a better and brighter future.”
She added: “The participants will address the challenges and the solutions to improving the quality of life for children with cancer and explore partnerships between state, private sector and civil society organisations to determine the most sustainable and best methods of support.”
Among the key participants at the event are: Avram Denburg, Paediatric Oncologist, SickKids Hospital, Chair of International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP); Anja Nitzsche-Bell, Section Head, Resource Mobilization at International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Jennifer Dent, President of Bio Ventures Global Health; Parth Mehta, Director of International Center Global Oncology Program at Baylor University in Texas.
Other participants at the event are Michelle Ndebele, Global Cancer Program Analytics and Markets Program Manager at Clinton Health Access Initiative; Marieke Korsten, Manager of Business Development at IDA Foundation; Busi Nkosi, Director of Advocacy at International Children's Palliative Care Network; Slim Slama, WHO Medical Officer at WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office; Khama Odera Rogo, Lead Health Specialist at World Bank, and many more.
On the first day, the roundtable will address access to global radiotherapy essentials, the importance of partnerships between state and private sectors, civil society innovation and global health governance solutions.
Other vital topics will be addressed the second day, such as the importance of training health sector personnel to handle initiatives that aim to provide treatment to children with cancer, developing strategic frameworks and collaborating to create a roadmap of action to facilitate global access to childhood cancer medication worldwide.
FoCP seeks to provide moral and financial support to thousands of cancer patients and their families, and promote awareness about the six early detectable cancers, namely breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, testicular cancer and colorectal cancer. Since its inception in 1999, it has provided support to more than 4,200 cancer patients, including children, women and men in the UAE regardless of their gender, race and age.