Government-backed telecom company Ooredoo has announced plans to fund the construction of a new, state-of-the-art cancer center in Qatar to provide general education and support for residents with cancer.
The facility is a joint effort with the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Qatar Cancer Society (QSC), and comes at a time when cancer is one of the leading causes of death here.
Ooredoo said it would contribute QR10 million to constructing the facility, QR10 million to equip it with the latest technology, and QR2 million/year for five years to keep it operating.
The building would include:
- An education room for students and the general public;
- Support groups for patients and families of the diagnosed; and
- A financial help system for Qatari and expat residents who have difficulty paying for life-saving treatments such as chemotherapy.
The Ooredoo Cancer Centre is expected to open in September. Speaking to Doha News, a spokeswoman said the facility is currently operating on the 18th and 19th floors of QCS in Bin Mahmoud.
In a statement, Ooredoo CEO Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani said:
“We are proud to be able to support such a vital project for Qatar. This centre will educate Qatar’s diverse population on critical information such as how to detect and prevent cancer, will aid people going through treatment, and work as a resource for support groups for patients and their families.”
Cancer is one of top three causes of death in Qatar, along with road accidents and heart-related fatalities, according to health experts.
Incidences of breast cancer are particularly prevalent among women here, with three new diagnosed cases each week, QSC head Dr. Khalid Bin Jabor Al-Thani said today.
In 2011, Qatar launched a $605 million National Cancer Strategy that aims to establish a national cancer care and research center, as well as a new cancer hospital, by 2016. That first center was supposed to be located inside Al Amal Hospital, which is within the Rumailah Hospital Complex.
The strategy also aims to improve survival rates and quality of life, recommends that more Qatari scientists are trained to become cancer researchers, and calls for more investment in cancer research.
And finally, in addition to clearing up misconceptions about cancer, the strategy outlines plans to speed up access to a cancer specialist by cutting waiting times from two weeks at the end of 2011 to within 48 hours by 2015.