Al Jalila Foundation has passed the halfway mark in its fundraising drive to secure Dh750 million for the UAE's first charity hospital aimed at helping cancer patients in need.
The non-profit healthcare organisation said it has raised Dh390 million since the Hamdan bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital project was announced in April last year.
Al Jalila Foundation announced on Tuesday that Moafaq Ahmed Al Gaddah & Sons has pledged Dh10 million to support the hospital.
It is the latest in a long line of significant donations the foundation has received from philanthropists, government and non-government organisations, UAE businesses and corporates.
Established last year by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, the 250-bed hospital will cover 50,000 square metres and is expected to be able to treat up to 30,000 patients a year.
It will provide outpatient, ambulatory and diagnostic services as well as inpatient and surgical services.
The hospital will also work with the Mohammed bin Rashid Medical Research Institute on studies to advance cancer care.
It will be built in two phases, with the first scheduled to open in 2024 with 150 beds.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid - in pictures
The new facility was named after Sheikh Mohammed's late brother, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, deputy ruler of Dubai and minister of finance, who died in March last year after a period of poor health. He was in his mid-70s.
Sheikh Mohammed said Sheikh Hamdan was one of the cornerstones of the UAE's rapid development over the past 50 years. He was appointed minister of finance in the Cabinet under Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, after the formation of the country in December 1971 and held the post until his death.
Free or subsidised cancer care
According to the World Health Organisation, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for one death in every six.
About 4,500 cases of cancer are diagnosed every year in the UAE, making it the third leading cause of death in the country.
Studies show that low-income cancer patients cannot access timely diagnoses and life-saving treatment. Survival rates are dependent on accessible early detection and high quality medical care.
Patients will be accepted to the hospital from all emirates where services would either be free or highly subsidised.
"The Hamdan bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital will become a leader in cancer care, serving patients unable to afford quality care," said Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, chief executive of Al Jalila Foundation.
"Donor support is integral to our success in developing the state-of-the-art hospital.
"We are grateful to MAG Group for their generous donation that will greatly impact the lives of adults and children with cancer.
"The hospital will offer unparalleled cancer expertise and make an invaluable contribution to the country’s healthcare sector, putting patient care first.”
Moafaq Al Gaddah, chairman and founder of MAG Group Holding, said his company is "proud and honoured" to support Al Jalila Foundation in its efforts to build the hospital.
“The world grows in kindness when we give in kindness. It is with pride that we give to the future of our community and this nation," Mr Al Gaddah said.
"The unconditional gifts of time and money are a life-changing force for good in the world. As people become more prosperous and economies grow stronger, it is our duty to create an opportunity to build an ever-stronger culture of giving the right to live across the world."