The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) is pleased to announce that Sheikha Leena Bint Nasser Bin Khaled Al-Thani, a prominent Qatari wife, mother and philanthropist, has agreed to provide her full support in the fight against breast cancer in Qatar as Ambassador of the ‘Screen for Life’ program.
Breast cancer screening is an integral part of the Breast and Bowel Screening Program, a population-based cancer screening program in Qatar. Consistent with the National Cancer Strategy’s key recommendation 5.2, which states the need for a population-based cancer screening program in the country, it aims to promote education, awareness and early detection of cancer in Qatar. PHCC has been given the authority to lead the program under Qatar’s National Cancer Program, which was initiated by the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) upon review of international best practices on excellent cancer care.
The core objective of ‘Screen for Life’ is to save precious lives by encouraging women aged 45 years or older with no symptoms to get a mammogram The Supreme Council of Health recommends breast cancer screening through mammography every three years.
“The fight against cancer and the promotion of the health and well-being of every citizen and resident of Qatar is a shared responsibility,” Sheikha Leena said. “We must all do our part in educating people and increasing awareness about such a potentially life-threatening disease. By doing so, not only should we teach people about healthy lifestyles but also encourage them to make the correct choice for their health, commending peace of mind to themselves and their families. This can be accomplished by undergoing mammography in order to increase the chance of successful treatment for those that may be diagnosed with the disease. The decision to undergo cancer screening should never be shadowed by fear or embarrassment as it impacts more than just the patient.”
Sheikha Leena’s experience in charitable endeavors is best reflected in her leadership of the Al-Hiba Group, a charitable non-profit organisation previously endorsed by the Qatar Centre for Voluntary Activities (QVC), and now under the umbrella of Nasser Bi Khalid Al Thani Charity, with representation from women of various nationalities. Her support for the program serves as a big boost to PHCC’s effort of saving lives through early detection of breast cancer.
Under Sheikha Leena’s leadership, Al-Hiba Qatar has helped around 300 cancer patients . This includes sending some of the patients abroad for treatments, specifically for treatments that are unavailable in Qatar such as Bone Marrow and Stem Cell transplants.
In addition, Al-Hiba Qatar has helped in covering the cost of medicine and other clinical necessities—such as pacemakers and stents for some heart and dialysis patients as well as wheelchairs.
“My commitment to this cause will be steadfast and unwavering,” Sheikha Leena added. “This includes the support of the Al-Hiba Group and its members, who have all been with me in maintaining a discrete level of all patients’ cases by dealing directly with the institution and related medical advisors of the patients for we value the patients’ privacy and dignity. I therefore congratulate the proponents of this noble program and look forward to working closely with every stakeholder in order to achieve its desired results.”
In welcoming the support and endorsement of the program by Sheikha Leena, Mariam Ali Abdulmalik, M.D., Managing Director of PHCC said: “Sheikha Leena’s support will serve as an inspiration for more women and prominent personalities in Qatar to support this endeavor. Her stature and influence as a well-admired personality in Qatar will certainly have a significant impact on the program. Her presence, support and endorsement of this initiative will facilitate our efforts to educate people about breast cancer, as well as encourage and convince people to undergo cancer screening procedures.
“We are truly privileged to have her amongst us in our fight against cancer and in our effort to enhance the health and well-being of the people in Qatar,” she added.