For the first time the World Cancer Congress is being held in South East Asia, with the plenary theatre for the opening ceremony packed to full capacity with many delegates in a second conference hall.
Prof. Sanchia Aranda, President, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) welcomed participants and highlighted the Congress focus on topics addressing the rising divide between haves and have nots. Prof. Aranda highlighted the progress made in National Cancer Control Plans, registries and access to cost effective cancer drugs and technologies achieved by working collectively and touched on the challenges of a growing cancer burden highlighted by the new GLOBOCAN data being launched by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the need to implement vaccinations and effective screening programmes and a new cervical cancer initiative lead by Dr Tedros, Director General of WHO.
Dr Princess Nothemba (Nono) Simelela, Assistant Director General, World Health Organization (WHO) introduced a video message from Dr Tedros and asked delegates to go beyond the call of duty to consign cervical cancer to the history books.
Delegates were able to hear from other very distinguished speakers including Hon. Mrs Yuthar al Rawahy, Founder and Life President, Oman Cancer Association and Her Highness Sayyida Dr. Mona bint Fahd Al Said, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman who welcomed 2018 delegates to join them at the 2020 World cancer Congress and Summit in Muscat.
The ceremony was closed by H.E. Dr. Haji Dzulkefly Bin Ahmad, Minister of Health of Malaysia
The ceremony was conducted in the presence of Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, Permaisuri Johor and other prestigious attendees including Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired, UICC President-elect, and Her Excellency Mrs Anna Hakobyan.
Article contributed by Marina Teahon