12th SIOP Asia 2019 congress opens in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, Under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Adviser to the UAE President and the Chief Patron of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation, over 300 international delegates and 92 experts from 26 countries convened today in Abu Dhabi to discuss and debate improving and optimising treatments throughout the world at the 12th SIOP Asia 2019 congress.

Held under the theme “No child should die of cancer”, the congress will continue until 6th April 2019.

“All children in the world deserve hope for a cure – no matter where they live. Children’s vitality is the heartbeat of our world and its future depends in it,” said Dr. Eman Taryam, President of SIOP Asia 2019.

“The SIOP report 2018 promptly emphasises that childhood cancer organisations know only too well that the associated cost to treat a child with cancer can be a burden that too many families simply can’t overcome. Therefore, we support the need for universal access to essential medicines and healthcare for all children in the world diagnosed with cancer,” she added.

“Childhood cancers are often curable but too many children and adolescents have no hope to overcome their disease simply because they were born in a country entrenched in poverty resulting in late diagnosis, lack of access to life-saving essential medicines and appropriate treatment,” Dr. Eman went on to say.

In September 2011, the UN General Assembly issued a Political Declaration recognising four major Non-Communicable Diseases/NCDs (cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease) as the greatest killers of adults and children.

On 13th December, 2017, a new report from WHO and the World Bank revealed that approximately half of the world’s population, including children, do not have access to essential health services and that 800 million people spend at minimum 10 percent of their household income on health-related care.

Sadly, childhood cancer continues to be the leading cause of non-communicable related death in children throughout the world. Globally, more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. Approximately 80 percent of our world’s children with cancer live in low- middle-income countries, where more than 80 percent of these children die of their disease, while in developed countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan and others, more than 80 percent of children survive cancer with hope to live productive and meaningful lives.

Actions to increase childhood cancer survival today represent effective and tangible steps as part of the broader fight against non-communicable diseases and steps that will catalyze global efforts to transform childhood cancer outcomes and ultimately save many more lives of children, now and for years to come.

Source: Emirates News Agency