17 Feb 2024
6 mins read

Malaysian Cancer NGOs and Stakeholders Unite on National World Cancer Day 2024, Pledging Equity and Support

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In a powerful display of unity, over 20 Malaysian cancer NGOs joined forces at the national celebration of World Cancer Day 2024, themed “Together We Can Do Better”. The landmark event focused on greater equity in cancer care across the nation and was held at the University of Cyberjaya, graced by the presence of Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad.

"Today's gathering emphasizes the collective strength of Malaysia's cancer community. The government stands resolute in supporting innovative partnerships and initiatives that prioritize equitable access to cancer care for every Malaysian." - Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad.

A highlight of the day was the landmark pledge by the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) to support the National Cancer Society of Malaysia's (NCSM) "Leaving No One Behind: Eliminating Cervical Cancer in Malaysia" programme. This initiative involves mobilizing 300,000 doses of HPV vaccines to protect underserved women and girls nationwide.

The programme currently being rolled out across the nation is made possible by NCSM working closely with Members of Parliament, government agencies, and local NGOs to identify women and teenagers from underprivileged, infirm, and differently-abled groups who have not yet received the HPV vaccine in each parliamentary constituency.

“This pledge embodies the collaborative spirit of civil society to eliminate cervical cancer, protecting 100,000 women and girls," - Dato' Dr. Saunthari Somasundaram, President of NCSM.

“In conjunction with our 50th anniversary, LIAM and its 16 member companies are collectively contributing RM3 million to the ‘Leaving No One Behind’ HPV vaccination programme. This significant initiative aims to support the Malaysian healthcare system by mitigating the risk of cervical cancer, which ranks as the third most prevalent cancer among women in Malaysia. By promoting awareness about HPV and related cancers, we underscore the importance of preventive measures and early detection to potentially save lives,” said Raymond Lew, President of LIAM.

In a significant step, Axios International, an organisation that provides equitable access to quality care and treatment for patients in need, has pledged to establish a joint fund with the NCSM called “Axios-NCSM Cancer Fund”. This donation will reduce the burden on cancer patients to get the necessary medicines.

NCSM also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Cyberjaya, witnessed by the Health Minister. This landmark agreement aims to enhance collaboration in cancer research and healthcare innovation.

“This partnership with the University of Cyberjaya will open new avenues for research and innovation, volunteer opportunities, and healthcare professional training, bringing tangible benefits to countless cancer patients in the years to come.

- Dato' Dr. Saunthari Somasundaram, President of NCSM.

"The University of Cyberjaya is committed to partnering with NCSM to accelerate research and innovation in cancer care. We stand united in the fight against this formidable disease." - Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. R. Palan, Pro Chancellor of UoC.

In a moving display of solidarity, representatives from over 20 NGOs participated in a pledging ceremony, promising specific initiatives focused on improving cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and support services.

The afternoon featured informative forums addressing the need to "Close the Care Gap" and "Making Cancer Everyone's Business," along with a showcase of parallel workshops tackling various aspects of cancer care inequity.

This event contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

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