A Re­gional Go-to for Can­cer Care

Jor­dan’s King Hus­sein Can­cer Cen­ter re­cently dou­bled its ca­pac­ity to pro­vide lead­ing-edge treat­ment to one of the world’s most deadly dis­eases

EME Outlook - - Health Care - Writer: Tom Wad­low | Project Man­ager: Cal­lam Waller

Can­cer – one of the most high- pro­file ill­nesses and sec­ond lead­ing cause of death in the world. The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) es­ti­mates that the dis­ease will be re­spon­si­ble for 9.6 mil­lion deaths this year, or one in six mor­tal­i­ties. Ar­row in on low- and mid­dle-in­come na­tions, and you will find that 70 per­cent of all can­cer deaths oc­cur in these coun­tries.

There is also an enor­mous eco­nomic im­pact as­so­ci­ated with the con­di­tion – the to­tal an­nual eco­nomic cost of can­cer in 2010 was es­ti­mated at ap­prox­i­mately $1.16 tril­lion, a fig­ure which is ris­ing.

In the Mid­dle East, the WHO pre­dicts that can­cer cases will dou­ble by 2030.

If the re­gion, and in­deed the world is to tackle this grow­ing threat, then the work car­ried out by the likes of Jor­dan’s King Hus­sein Can­cer Cen­ter (KHCC) is go­ing to be vi­tal.

Es­tab­lished by Royal de­cree back in 1997, Am­man-based KHCC now treats more than 60 per­cent of all can­cer cases in Jor­dan, with sur­vival rates com­pa­ra­ble to any­where else in the de­vel­oped world.

De­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with lead­ing in­sti­tu­tions from around the world, the cen­ter’s clin­i­cal cross- de­part­men­tal ser­vices cover: breast can­cer, gas­troin­testi­nal ma­lig­nan­cies clinic, adult lym­phoma, head and neck, tho­racic, gy­nae­co­log­i­cal ma­lig­nan­cies, sar­coma, adult neuro-on­col­ogy, gen­i­touri­nary ma­lig­nan­cies, thy­roid, adult leukaemia, adult oc­u­lar on­col­ogy, pae­di­atrics solid tu­mours, pae­di­atric neuro-on­col­ogy, and pae­di­atric leukaemia ser­vices.

Such work will con­tinue to be crit­i­cal if Jor­dan is to re­main com­pa­ra­ble with de­vel­oped na­tions in terms of can­cer treat­ment. The dis­ease is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of death in the coun­try, with heart dis­ease the only cause claim­ing more lives.

The top three most com­mon can­cers

among males in Jor­dan are colo- rec­tal (colon) can­cer, lung can­cer and blad­der can­cer, while the most pro­lific forms among Jor­da­nian fe­males are breast can­cer, colo-rec­tal (colon) can­cer and thy­roid can­cer.

The dis­ease also im­pacts chil­dren in the coun­try. In 2011, 207 cases of can­cer below the age of 15 were re­ported, the most preva­lent be­ing leukaemia, lym­phoma and brain tu­mours.

Com­pre­hen­sive care

KHCC is ac­cred­ited by the Joint Com­mis­sion In­ter­na­tional as a dis­ease spe­cific can­cer cen­ter, mak­ing it the first and only cen­ter in the de­vel­op­ing world to earn such a dis­tinc­tion.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion is led by Dr Asem Man­sour, CEO and Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, and falls un­der the um­brella of the King Hus­sein Can­cer Foun­da­tion (KHCF).

The foun­da­tion’s Chair­per­son, HRH Princess Ghida Talal, states in her web­site mes­sage: “At KHCC, it is our con­vic­tion that no one should ever be de­prived of a real chance for a cure.

“To­wards that goal, a brand-new ex­pan­sion to KHCC has opened its doors and will up­hold our mis­sion of pro­vid­ing the most ad­vanced care to our pa­tients. Equipped with state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy, this new fa­cil­ity will ab­sorb up to 7,000 new can­cer pa­tients an­nu­ally and of­fer the most ad­vanced ser­vices, in­clud­ing per­form­ing 300 bone mar­row trans­plants a year.”

This refers to an am­bi­tious ex­pan­sion project which opened its doors back in Septem­ber 2017.

Hav­ing been stretched to its limit and op­er­at­ing at full ca­pac­ity, KHCC broke ground on the project in 2011, and is able to ac­cept an in­creas­ing num­ber of pa­tients from the GCC and un­der­priv­i­leged coun­tries such as Pales­tine, Iraq, Syria, Ye­men and Su­dan.

The ex­pan­sion com­prised of a new in­pa­tient tower and out­pa­tient build­ing which com­bine to ef­fec­tively dou­ble KHCC’S ca­pac­ity.

The for­mer, span­ning 13 floors, is fit­ted with 179 beds in sin­gle oc­cu­pancy rooms, an ex­panded di­ag­nos­tic imag­ing and ra­dio­ther­apy unit, an ex­panded bone mar­row trans­plan­ta­tion unit, adult and pe­di­atric spe­cial­ity in­ten­sive care units, and floors specif­i­cally ded­i­cated to pe­di­atric and adult pa­tient wards.

The new in­pa­tient build­ing is fit­ted with 179 new beds in sin­gle oc­cu­pancy

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