How it began
A cancer survivor, Ms. Yuthar Al-Rawahy, promised herself while she was under active treatment, that if she were to survive her 3rd cancer, she would dedicate the time to develop a patient advocacy group in Oman. The concept was to create awareness on cancer so as the people could accept cancer and work for its early intervention, and successful treatment, through self-examination and early diagnosis.
Upon her return to Oman in October 2002, she organized a meeting with two other survivors. They talked to the public about their experiences and stressed on the importance of early diagnosis for a successful treatment. This humble beginning was followed by enormous interest. A huge support from individuals and relatives of cancer patients joined in their efforts. A task force was formulated, in November 2002 the founders meeting was organized, and a working committee was elected. The committee was mandated to register the group as an association according to the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Social Development.
The 4th of May 2004, the National Association for Cancer Awareness (NACA) was officially registered. This was the first patient advocacy group in Oman.
In 2014, ten years after its registration, thanks to the on-going activities, persistence and perseverance under the leadership of Ms. Yuther Al Rawahy, the organization was rebranded under the name of Oman Cancer Association (OCA). The government allowed the rebranding after proving its loyalty, transparency, professionalism and commitment to the community.
The Association’s work and activities adhere strictly to the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Social Development. OCA is open to collaborate with any group or organization within the framework of the government’s directives and guidelines and always after their authorization.
15 years of service to the community
In the last 15 years, OCA has collaborated and affiliated with a number of institutions in Oman, from schools to commercial centres, clubs and associations, with the objective to create awareness, fundraising and, most importantly, to have our partners’ participation. We work very closely with private and corporate sectors, through their CSR project and they are the backbone of our activities. We also work closely with the government sector, especially the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information, The Royal Oman Police, the Municipality and other relevant government entities. Thanks to these collaborations, the Oman Cancer Association has developed many projects and implemented them through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) activities that always end up as a win-win situation.
The Association’s activities are varied, and we categorize them as Direct Activities (Projects & Services, Patient involvement, Empowerment, Awareness & Communication) and Indirect Activities (Fundraising campaigns, Advocacy, Education & Training, Dedicated Research).
In 2015, OCA became one of the founding members of the International Cancer Prevention Consortium (ICPC), which was created with the objective of knowledge shearing and developing effective cancer prevention and control strategies, concentrating in education, training and dedicated research. Through the ICPC, the Oman Cancer Association supports the Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) in their needs to fight cancer in their countries.
Our future programs and activities
• Organize the 2020 World Cancer Congress and World Cancer Leaders’ Summit at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) in Muscat.
• Implement “Bridging the gap” to train families to take care at home of their terminally ill relatives.
• Implement Self-Breast Examination training program in schools for 10th to 12th grade students
• Prevention programs:
o Screening for Cervical, Prostate, Colorectal and Lung cancers.
o Screening for Breast Cancer in women under 40 years
• Capacity building and human resources development
• Awareness campaigns & Cancer prevention
OCA’s Branches & Centres
These branches and centres are fully registered under the Association at the Ministry of Social Development:
• Nizwa Branch
• Salalah Branch
• Sur Branch
• Ibri Centre
• Sohar Centre