Call to set up specialized unit for cancer-hit kids

JEDDAH: Princess Adilah bint Abdullah, chairperson of the National Home Health Care Foundation, has called for the establishment of a specialized unit for the treatment and care of children suffering from cancer.

Opening a conference on children recovering from cancer, organized by King Abdul Aziz Hospital in Jeddah, she said more than 10,000 children in the Kingdom have recovered from cancer.

“The unit will be a distinguished addition to facilities for the care of cancer patients,” the princess said. She called for joint efforts by health institutions and social organizations to improve the care of children.

Muhammad Bakhsh, supervisor of the hospital, said the conference was organized to shed light on Saudi Arabia’s successes in treating cancer among children and providing necessary care to those who have recovered from the disease.

He said the children’s cancer treatment program was aimed not only at helping patients beat the disease, but also to follow up on the quality of aftercare.

Dr. Hassna Al-Ghamdi, director of the tumor center at the hospital, said the conference would focus on the experiences of young patients who have recovered from the disease in order to give hope to parents of children suffering from cancer.

Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Mirghalani said 40 percent of cancer cases could be cured provided they are detected and treated early. Quoting WHO reports, he said the absence of timely intervention is expected to lead to 84 million cancer-related deaths worldwide between 2005 and 2015