WHO Goodwill Ambassador Calls for Urgent Global Actions in Cancer Control


Amman – October 27th, 2009: Joining efforts in the fight against cancer and the ban against tobacco use, the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) held today a special talk featuring globally renowned breast cancer activist and WHO Goodwill Ambassador, HE Nancy Brinker, entitled “Combating Cancer and Tobacco Use in the Developing World”. The event also witnessed speeches by HRH Princess Ghida Talal, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of KHCF and Dr. Hashim Elzein Elmousaad – WHO Representative Jordan.

The event comes at a time when international research and studies show that by 2010 cancer will be the leading cause of death worldwide, with 60 percent of cancer cases occurring in the developing world. For countries such as Jordan, this is an extremely large burden. According to Dr. Mahmoud Sarhan, Director of the King Hussein Cancer Center, almost 4000 new cancer cases are registered annually, this figure will double by the year 2020, and will reach 20000 new cancer cases by 2050 in the Kingdom. With such alarming figures, participants at today’s event called upon world leaders and policy makers to put cancer at the top of the global health agenda.

During the speaking event, Nancy Brinker’s first international travel since she was named a UN/WHO Ambassador for Cancer Control, spoke of the stark projections of the rise in cancer cases of developing nations, emphasized the need to “turn more energy and resources on raising awareness and changing cultures, ultimately saving lives”. She is optimistic that, in tandem with awareness and action, “the will, perseverance, and inspiration of humanity, (an end) will come in the war against cancer and breast cancer.” 

HRH Princess Ghida Talal thanked Ambassador Brinker for her efforts in achieving global strides in breast cancer education, awareness and research. She asked Brinker to be the voice of the developing world and called for action to the international community at large to support early detection and prevention programs to curb the alarming forecast in the developing world. She stressed the importance that “40% of all cancers are preventable, simply by not smoking and leading a healthy lifestyle we as individuals can reduce the risk of contracting cancer by more than a third ”, urging people to become more vocal about the evils of tobacco and strictly enforce the ban on tobacco in public spaces.

The special talk also featured signing of the “Global Youth Against Tobacco Petition” by Princess Ghida, Princess Dina, Nancy Brinker, Dr. Mahmoud Sarhan, and Dr. Hashim Elzein Elmousaad.

The event was held at the Zara Expo Center and attended by over 150 stakeholders, cancer prevention advocates, dignitaries and physicians.

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