Doha - Princess Lalla Salma, chairwoman of the Lalla Salma foundation for cancer prevention and treatment presented during the world innovation summit for health (WISH) that opened this Tuesday in Doha Morocco's experience in health care, particularly in favor of cancer patients.
Doha – Princess Lalla Salma, chairwoman of the Lalla Salma foundation for cancer prevention and treatment presented during the world innovation summit for health (WISH) that opened this Tuesday in Doha Morocco’s experience in health care, particularly in favor of cancer patients.
“Under the sagacious leadership of King Mohammed VI – may God assist him – and as part of the national strategic plan, the Kingdom of Morocco has adopted an innovative policy in the area of healthcare in general, and the fight against the deadly scourge of cancer in particular”, said the Princess.
The Princess added that “the Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention and Treatment, which I am honored to chair, has been actively involved in this innovative policy through an integrated, comprehensive approach to fight cancer.”
The Foundation has used a “participatory method involving all the parties and stakeholders concerned, including cancer patients and their relatives”, stressed the Foundation chairwoman who explained that “efforts have also been made to secure the adequate funds needed, train the human resources required, encourage scientific research and make sure the Kingdom interacts with its regional environment.”
“The Foundation’s comprehensive approach focuses, above all, on prevention through an effective partnership with the ministries of Health and National Education, and also with the full range of media outlets”, said Princess Lalla Salma, underscoring that “the Foundation has actively sought to increase the number of specialized hospital units. There are 9 such centers today, which are fitted out with the latest equipment and which use advanced technologies.”
“Seven of them are fully operational. Similarly, 24 nuclear particle accelerators have been provided in just 5 years, thanks to a virtually unique partnership between civil society, the Ministry of Health, public authorities, elected national and local officials and academic institutions”, the Princess said, before stressing “the Foundation has managed to cover 100% of the needs of children and of women with breast cancer”, as far as provision of cancer medicines is concerned.
These services are supported by the compulsory health insurance scheme, as well as the medical assistance scheme, which was launched in 2011 by King Mohammed VI and which covers the needs of 8.5 million people, which is 100% of the low-income population, the Princess pointed out.
The Foundation’s innovative dimension also encompasses assistance given to cancer patients who benefit from services provided in ‘life homes’, which are “accommodation facilities which enable patients to receive treatment in a family environment, for the duration of their therapy and in the best circumstances possible”, said Princess Lalla Salma.
Underscoring the importance of training specialized human resources in the fight against cancer, the princess noted that the Foundation has issued, this year, “calls for research projects on cancer, including child cancer, leukemia and solid tumors.”
“Eligible projects will be sponsored by the Foundation.”
Likewise, went on the Princess, “support of various actors as well as through effective partnerships with the parties concerned, particularly specialized pharmaceutical labs” has made it possible to reduce the prices of drugs to make them accessible to as many patients as possible.
“The goal of innovation should be to enable everyone to benefit from healthcare,” stressed the princess before urging “wealthy developed countries to end their monopoly on scientific innovation in order to prevent the gap between the North and the South from becoming even wider.”
“We also call on them to enable poor countries to have access to innovation and technology so that the citizens of these countries may benefit from them, and to promote cooperation in this field.”
Regarding South-South cooperation, the Lalla Salma Foundation has been keen to promote cooperation with sister African nations, said the Princess, noting that “nine countries have been involved in this collaboration so far, and three more countries will be included by the end of this year.”
The Princess further noted the African School for the training of hundreds of specialists in the fight against cancer, before stressing the need for the creation of a regional and an international fund to finance cancer treatment.
The Princess credited the Foundation’s success to “the continuous support and high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, as well as the mobilization and proactive action of the various public authorities and institutions concerned, civil society actors, media organizations and the citizens”, noting that this “across-the-board mobilization has given my country a distinctive position in this field.”
“Indeed, we have achieved encouraging results in a short period of time, despite numerous constraints and the limited resources available. Needless to say, we are aware of the magnitude of the challenges faced, and we do realize that there is still a long way to go, and that further innovative action and thinking are required.”
The princess also expressed faith in the success of this international conference which “will adopt important recommendations and pave the way for partnerships that will consolidate fruitful and constructive cooperation and promote the exchange of best practices between participants.”