(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The King Hussein Cancer Centre (KHCC) and the Hassan II University Hospital of Fez have signed a partnership/twinning agreement with the aim of up-scaling the level of care provided to patients in the region.
HRH Princess Ghida Talal, chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) board of trustees, signed the agreement with Latifa Obeida, secretary general of the Lalla Salma Association for the Fight against Cancer (ALSC) in the presence of HRH Princess Lalla Salma in Marrakech on Saturday, according to a KHCF statement.
Princess Ghida headed a delegation, which included KHCF Director General HRH Princess Dina Mired, KHCC Director General Dr Mahmoud Sarhan and other officials, on a visit to Morocco to sign the agreement, the statement said.
Sarhan and his counterpart, Dr Khalid Ait Taleb, director of Hassan II University Hospital, signed the same agreement, the focus of which will be close collaboration between the two hospitals, according to the statement.
The agreement will also entail capacity building, training of staff and sharing experiences, particularly in the area of quality assurance and hospital accreditation, as Hassan II University Hospital is starting the process of gaining accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI) as a general hospital.
KHCC is currently the only cancer centre in the developing world to have earned JCI's accreditation as a disease-specific cancer centre, the statement said.
The delegation also participated in the January 12-14 International Conference on Cancer Control in Middle East and Africa in Marrakech, organised by the ALSC. Princess Ghida delivered the inaugural speech at the conference, held under the theme "Which Strategy for Cervical Cancer Prevention and Which Strategy for Cooperation and Access to Cancer Care".
"Our countries are struggling with the same challenges: lack of accessibility to services, poor infrastructure, scattered human resources and no insurance for cancer treatment," she said.
"It is only through shared experiences and working together that we can save time, effort and expense. Why reinvent the wheel and waste precious lives? Our similar cultures and language mean that the problem one country is facing might help another one find the solution it is looking for. Working closely together is the only way to make a real dent in the future of cancer in our region," Princess Ghida added.
Princess Dina chaired a session titled "Role of Non-Governmental Organisations in the Middle East and Africa", where she led a discussion on the important role of NGOs in cancer care in the Middle East and North Africa region, including providing treatment, fundraising, patient support and promoting early detection, prevention and awareness.
Sarhan also attended the ALSC meeting, and other members of the KHCF delegation participated in panel discussions on NGO experiences in access to treatment, the statement said.
Founded by Princess Lalla Salma, the ALSC provides support for cancer patients and their families, promotes cancer awareness and supports local treatment centres.