NACA renamed, new plans soon



Muscat: The National Association for Cancer Awareness (NACA) will now be called the Oman Cancer Association (OCA). This was announced on the occasion of the 10th anniversary celebration of NACA's founding held here on Monday.

Addressing the gathering, Yuthar Al Rawahy, founder and chairperson, said, "This comes in response to the overwhelming feedback and requests from our members. As the diversity of our portfolio illustrates, a broader label such as Oman Cancer Association (OCA) is fitting." Yuthar said that among the upcoming projects underway for OCA include the Palliative Care Initiative for the terminally ill.

"This is an objective we have been working towards in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health for the past year," she said. The association is also working with the Ministry of Education to look into developing a programme for self-breast examination among girls in the secondary schools, and a new innovative, E-Advocacy system, for all cancers in Oman.

"Over the next decade we will concentrate in areas where we can make the greatest positive impact, use feedback to improve existing programmes, to customise new programmes, develop new courses and new capabilities, experiment with new tools such as e-education," Yuthar said.

Speaking about the 10 years of its existence, Yuthar said, "The past decade has seen its share of triumphs as well as challenges. I have gone home many a days feeling frustrated or hopeless, but we overcame obstacles, and continue to do so, not only through determination and perseverance, but also thanks to the cooperation, and unwavering support of our partners, and those who dedicate their time and funds to our initiatives. All the accomplishments to date, and those underway could not be achieved without the continuous support and cooperation of the relevant ministries and government agencies, especially the Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Health, generous funding from the private sector, individual philanthropists across the community, and a dedicated band of active volunteers, and ambassadors of change."

She reflected on NACA's achievements including the launch of the annual walkathon, introduction of the Mobile Mammography Unit, which provides free breast cancer screening to women during its bi-annual country-wide tours, spanning the width and breadth of the Sultanate. She talked of the opening of Dar Al Hanan, a 'home away from home' which provides care and administrative support to young cancer patients and their families, particularly those based outside the capital and  the starting of satellite branches, in Dakhiliya, Sur, Salaalah, Ibra and Sohar.

She thanked H.H. Dr Muna bint Fahad Al Said for her unwavering support and dedication, Dr. Wahid Al Kharusi and the many people in the background, who played important roles in the success of the association.

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