Eng. Salahuddin Wanasi Mohamed Khair, Minister of the presidency who died of cancer in October 2015. His family, friends and colleagues have gathered to establish a national Foundation that seeks to promote and develop research capabilities, integrate them with national efforts , raise awareness of cancer control and prevention throughout the country. The Foundation was registered in accordance with the regulations of the Humanitarian Aid Commission on 6 April 2016. Sudan vision has conducted this interview with the CEO of Salah Wanasi Foundation for cancer research and control Dr. Salah Daak to shed light on the Foundation’s activities and programs.
Q: Why cancer?
A: Cancer is a critical health and human issue. Today, 9.6 million people each year will die from cancer. Making it the second-most deadly disease.Yet, at least one third of cancers can be prevented. Governments and cities play a vital role in contributing to a world less
Burdened by cancer. As leaders of our nations and cities, politicians,
Ministers and mayors hold the levers to shape policy that will drive action for a healthier future. Together, we will change that.
Q: What is your Foundation vision, mission and strategy ?
A: Our Foundation vision is “To reach a healthy community , decreasing the dangers of cancer by delivering awareness messages and health services to fight cancer for all people and in all regions of Sudan’’. Its mission is “Contributing to support and strengthen the current health system to ensure health services according to international scientific standards by raising the efficiency of workers in the medical field and support for the necessary polices to fight cancer’’. The Foundation strategy can be summarized this way “The Foundation’s strategy focuses on research .The Foundation shall start by conducting national cancer survey, that gives statistics and identifies the causes and areas most affected by the disease and causes of the increased incidence of cancer’’.
Q: Your call is just for organizations to participate in your foundation’s programs?
A: Absolutely no . We’re asking for every Sudanese personal commitment to take positive action against cancer. We believe that we (as organizations and individuals) can achieve the global target of a 25% reduction in premature deaths from cancer and non-communicable diseases if we act today . Salah Wanasi Foundation for cancer research and control is an inclusive platform of fighting cancer partners from all corners of our country, including the remotest areas. Also the Foundation is leading the national fight against cancer. So, show your support by showing up. you have the power to take action for a cancer free nation.
Q: So, you believe in individuals role in fighting cancer what you say to them?
A: You are the hero of this story. Whoever you are, you have the power to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, the people you love and for the world. Only when we have commitment, we can take action and accelerate progress. Get involved any way you can. Because together, we can create change.
Q: The normal person what he/ she needs to know about cancer?
A: Awareness and accurate information and knowledge can empower all of us to recognize early warning signs, make informed choices about
our health and counter our own fears and misconceptions about cancer.
Q: What about the national contributions?
A: Proactive and effective actions on national health planning are
possible and feasible in every country, and when governments
step up efforts to reduce and prevent cancer, they place their nations in a stronger position to advance socially and economically.
Q: Can cancer be prevented ?
A: At least one third of cancers are preventable giving us every
reason to champion healthy choices and prevention strategies
for all, so that we have the best chance to prevent and reduce our cancer risks.
Q: The field of fighting cancer needs co-operations. Your comment.
A: Strategic collaborations that involve civil society, companies,
cities, international organizations and agencies, research and
academic institutions are the strongest ways to help expand
awareness and support, convert political will into action and deliver comprehensive and cohesive solutions. Joining efforts
leads to powerful action at every level.
Q: Can you tell Sudan vision readers about your Foundation’s local and global partnerships?
A: The Foundation has establish partnerships with relevant institutions such as the University of Gothenburg in Mainz – Germany in the field of cancer’s research. In addition to the American Howard University , Islamic relief US ,Mayotte International hospitals in India and the Islamic World Council for Disability and Rehabilitation in kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Locally, the Foundation has established the Reference Center for Breast Cancer at the Academic Hospital in Khartoum, which was equipped with modern devices such as digital mammogram. The center receives cases transferred from the sub-centers and will be opened in February 2019.
It also established Salah Wanasi’s chair in cancer research at Al-Jazeera University as the first scientific platform on cancer research in Sudan.
Q:What is your advocacy program contents?
A: The program includes cancer data, planning and policy, prevention and early detection, treatment and care. The program is designed to increase awareness and accurate information and knowledge about cancer.
Q:Could tell us about your Foundation grassroots programs?
A: During the two and a half years since its inception, the Foundation has been fighting the severe disease in a vast country with limited resources. However, programs and activities have been provided covering all Sudan’s states, including awareness of the causes , methods of avoiding infection and, the importance of early detection of cancer. The foundation has visited most of the of Sudan’s states during the national awareness campaign NAC which launched in partnership with the national Fund for students welfare.
Q: World Cancer Day 2019 : 4th February , how this day inspires you?
A: The World Cancer Day with its logo – I am and I will – .inspires us to accelerate our efforts .In this occasion we hope that the endeavors of all voluntary organizations working in the field of cancer awareness will be united to develop an integrated program during this year and to create a system coordinates all activities and programs to educate the Sudanese community and to contribute in establishing the Cancer Research Center during the current year.
Q: What is the World Cancer Day means to your Foundation?
A: Since its establishment in 2016, Salah Wansi Foundation for cancer research and control has been recognizing the World Cancer Day every year as an annual global event aimed at raising awareness about cancer worldwide. The Union for International Cancer Control UICC, in cooperation with the World Health Organization WHO in 2005, have called health ministries, NGOs, government agencies, and individuals around the world to join their efforts in order to raise awareness about cancer and to take decisive stances to maintain a healthy life for everyone.
This year the world cancer Day logo is – I am and I will –and dedicated to educate the Sudanese community about cancer and methods of prevention, as well as providing the required accurate information and shed light on the wrong behavior in order to raise awareness which contributes to reducing cancer cases . This can be achieved through various channels to identify cancer, pathogens and methods of prevention through various programs and activities for families and all groups of the society . The programs will be published in all media outlets.
Q: I see your Foundation gives great attention to sport through sponsoring many sports events. What is the reason behind that ?
A: The Foundation believes that sport plays a beneficial role in fighting cancer. Take breast cancer for example. Recent studies have shown that staying active reduces the risk of developing breast cancer by 20% . The risk of relapse is also much less likely in women who exercise and play sport: 3 hours per week would reduce the risk of recurrence by 20%. This rate rises to 50% for women who do 9 hours of sport per week.
Sport has significant benefits for cancer patients for instance:
The side effects of treatment are better tolerated .Tiredness and pain can be alleviated. It helps to strengthen joints and muscles and in this way regain physical fitness more quickly. Sport helps to combat stress and anxiety. And most importantly of all, the risk of relapse is minimized.
Thank you for giving Sudan vision the opportunity to explore Salah Wanasi Foundation for cancer research and control programs an activities.