GCC cancer time bomb is ticking

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Updated 23 October 2014

GCC cancer time bomb is ticking

An alarming 150 to 200 percent increase in cancer rates is expected by 2030 within the GCC states. This is the highest expected increase in the world, according to medical expert, Dr. Ibtihal Fadil.
Dr. Fadil, a consultant for the chronic diseases department at the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Countries Bureau in Cairo, made this prediction at the International Medical Conference on the Burden of Cancer in the Gulf Region organized by the GCC ministers for health, and in collaboration with the Gulf Center for Cancer at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh. The conference was opened on Tuesday by Deputy Health Minister Dr. Mansoor Al-Hawasi. The event drew a large attendance of experts and senior health care officials from the Kingdom and abroad.
Dr. Fadil said this dramatic expected rise in cancer rates can be attributed to the change of lifestyle in the region and the reality of higher life expectancies for its citizens, adding that WHO considers cancer to be one of the four most chronic diseases that cause the highest death rate. This increase is attributed to the proliferation of four common factors associated with cancer development: Smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and obesity.
Dr. Fadil also pointed out that 75 percent of cancer cases are discovered during their late stages, which dramatically diminishes the potential success of treatment and results in the death of around 50 percent of cancer patients within five years of the late diagnosis.
She called for the intensification of efforts toward diagnosing cancer earlier, in order to increase the chances of successful treatment for cancers as a whole, especially in consideration of the fact that younger patients who have breast or prostate cancer are often successfully treated, and frequently live for more than 30 years after their treatment. She urged GCC countries to follow the WHO approach in dealing with cancer cases, stressing that no country can alone afford the cost of treating all of its own cases.
“This new prediction has led the WHO to develop multiple policies, strategies, guidelines and methodologies to enable countries to monitor their national indicators, and to achieve the goals of the UN political proclamation of 2011 on fighting chronic diseases, including cancer. Adopting these strategies could result in the reduction of cancer causalities in most countries by as much as 25 percent by 2025,” she said.


Abu Dhabi’s first café run by special needs staff, baristas opens its doors

The new café serves to empower and support those with disabilities. Photo: Shutterstock
Updated 18 November 2019

Abu Dhabi’s first café run by special needs staff, baristas opens its doors

  • The country’s first café run entirely by people with special needs has opened its doors in the UAE
  • Located in Abu Dhabi, Bee Café is part of the “Be the Change” campaign

DUBAI: The country’s first café run entirely by people with special needs has opened its doors in the UAE.

A stone’s throw away from Abu Dhabi’s Mafraq Hospital, Bee Café is part of the “Be the Change” campaign led by the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, and serves to empower and support those with disabilities.

In addition to serving fresh roasted coffee and vegan desserts, the homegrown artisan coffee shop also offers specialized training to its staff to ensure that they obtain practical skills in addition to international certificates in the specialty coffee industry whilst improving their welfare by inviting them to provide for themselves and their families through brewing exceptional-quality coffee.  

The “Be the Change” campaign, launched earlier this year, is aimed at changing attitudes toward people with special needs while raising awareness and helping them integrate into the work force.

The café, which is currently in its soft launch phase, boasts a slick and modern interior for enjoying a soothing cup of coffee, in addition to WiFi for those who want to work or study in a cozy, airy space. It is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.