Today as we mark World Cancer Day, we are reminded that 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).


World Cancer Day was established by the Paris Charter, adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millenium, in Paris on 4 February 2000.

This Charter calls for amongst others “the promotion of research for curing as well as preventing the disease, upgrading the provided services to the patients, the sensitisation of the common opinion and the mobilisation of the global community against cancer.”

As a relief and development organization, Islamic Relief has been fighting injustice for over 30 years, in a world in which over three billion people still live in poverty.

Inspired by the Islamic faith and guided by our values, we believe that people with wealth have a duty to those less fortunate – regardless of race, political affiliation, gender or belief.

The Islamic Relief Oncology Centre of Excellence

Around 250,000 children worldwide develop cancer each year. Most of these children live in low and middle-income countries with an estimated survival rate of less than 25 per cent.

In South Africa, for example, we know that childhood cancer is on the rise. About one in 600 children in the country is affected by cancer before they reach their sixteenth birthday. Half of these children will die.

We are proud to be supporting the development of a state-of-the-art oncology unit at the new Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, as a major donor.

In 2014, the Islamic Relief family officially pledged US$ 10 million to fund the oncology unit. We believe that access to quality healthcare is a universal right and share Nelson Mandela’s determination that all children should receive excellent medical care.

The Islamic Relief Oncology Centre of Excellence is now constructed, and work to complete the interior is underway. It will include bone marrow transplant facilities and a laboratory, surgeries and theatres, intensive care and high care beds, radiology facilities, and a dedicated pharmacy. The Centre will offer 14-day care wards and 18 oncology wards.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will be a world-class, highly advanced specialised children’s facility that will shape the lives of African children. No child will be turned away because they cannot afford to pay.

The hospital and the Islamic Relief Oncology Centre of Excellence will open in December 2016.

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