KUWAIT: The State of Kuwait marks today the International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) with various public and private entities launching initiatives and activities to spread awareness on this important matter. Various individuals spoke about the matter, highlighting Kuwait’s national efforts in this regard, stressing the vitality of spreading information on how to prevent cancer and what are the best means to seek treatment for children afflicted by this deadly disease.
Director of the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) Specialized Hospital for Children Dr Maitham Husain affirmed that the hospital was proud to partake in marking the international day for childhood cancer, saying that it was crucial to spread hope in regards especially on the possibility of treating the disease especially amongst children. Children are normally diagnosed with cancer affecting the liver, nervous system, and the bones, pointed out Dr Husain who added that treatment might take around one to two years depending on the case. He added that treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy, revealing that recent remedies include stem-cell treatment and immunotherapy.
In Kuwait, most children are suffering from leukemia with symptoms including high fever, decrease in white blood cells, lack of an appetite, and general unexplained fatigue, said Dr Husain who revealed that those under 16 years of age were general referred to the NBK specialized hospital in case of cancer discovery. Cancer treatment for children in Kuwait is for free, stated Dr Husain who indicated that the NBK specialized hospital through its ‘Dream To Be’ program, in coordination with Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KACCH), was eager to realize the ambitions of child cancer patients.
Meanwhile, Rasha Al-Hamad, head executive at Bayt (house) Abdullah Children’s Hospice, said that her entity was providing multi-professional, specialist, pediatric palliative care and support to children with life limiting or life threatening illnesses who are resident in Kuwait, and their families. She affirmed that there was a strong cooperation between the NBK specialized hospital and Bayt Abdullah especially in the efforts for treating cancer.Bayt Abdullah also commends the strong cooperation provided by the Ministry of Health, which provides on-call physicians when asked by the hospice, said Al-Hamad.
Sheikha Saud, a mother of a cancer child patient, said that in the meantime that it was a painful experience to see one’s child suffering from this fatal ailment; however, in their case, the doctors were coming with promising treatment results. She added that it was important to encourage the child to seek treatment even if it was taking its toll on them, indicating that she had to be strong for both of them so that they could vanquish this disease.
According to the ICCD, the child cancer day was first launched in 2002 with the annual event has generating the support of global networks and leading institutions including: the World Health Organization (WHO), International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP), Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and Caring and Living Among Neighbors (CLAN), among others. – KUNA