Cancer patients in Cairo will have to wait less time for treatment thanks to a Dh33 million donation from the Sharjah based Big Heart Foundation.
The global humanitarian charity, dedicated to helping refugees, made the donation to improve services at the National Cancer Institute in the Egyptian capital.
It is one of the largest and most advanced oncology and medical care centres in Egypt and North Africa, providing medical care to more than 250,000 patients per year.
Of those Egyptian patients, 85 per cent receive treatment free of charge.
"The support coincides with the UAE's celebration of the Year of Zayed and Ramadan,” said Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, the foundation’s chairperson.
“Sheikh Zayed’s love of Egypt demonstrated the importance he placed on Arab solidarity and humanitarianism and his efforts to alleviate the suffering of the needy, the vulnerable and the sick, so that they enjoy decent living, away from suffering, hardship and pain."
NCI provides 130 beds for the treatment of children in all stages of cancer, including advanced stages, in addition to 15 ICU beds.
The institute is currently working on the development of a genetic map for each type of cancer in Egypt, starting with liver, breast and colon cancers, which are the most common among Egyptians.
The contribution will support development and rehabilitation work of the 13-storey building of NCI in Cairo’s Qasr Al-Aini Street.
The work will increase the hospital and outpatient clinic capacities, improve the level of services provided to patients, reduce waiting lists and focus on treating children with various cancers, in addition to expanding free services.
The support is the largest single donation received by NCI in its almost 50-year history and reinforces the extensive relationship between the UAE and Egypt.
A two year period of construction and architectural work will develop new offices and furniture, equipment, electrical work, lighting improvement, communication, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
In September, The Big Heart Foundation covered the expenses of updating the institution’s IT database and helped to provide solutions to NCI’s lack of qualified human resources.
"The NCI in Egypt is one of the most prominent medical centres to address cancer, where tens of thousands of patients benefit from its services every year, especially those who are unable to pay for their own treatment," said Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of The Big Heart Foundation.