The Big Heart Foundation Grants 160 Million Egyptian Pounds To Egypt’s National Cancer Institute

Cairo centre provides free medical care to more than 200,000 patients per year

For immediate release
Sharjah, May, 2018

The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), the Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has announced it will donate160 million Egyptian pounds (around AED 33 million)to develop the main building of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the Egyptian capital.

NCI 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, 85% of the Egyptiansreceive treatment free of charge.

The contribution will support development and rehabilitation work of the 13-storey building of NCI in Cairo’s Qasr Al-Aini Street.

The donation was announced under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, and the supportof his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qassimi,and Chairperson of the Big Heart Foundation.

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 expandingfree services.

The support is the largest single donation received by NCI in its almost 50-year history and reinforces the extensive relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, where healthcare and medical assistance have been a priority.

The budget allocated by TBHF will cover a period of two years for construction and architectural work, new offices and furniture, equipment, electrical work, lighting improvement, communication, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as the implementation of sewage and water pipes plus medical gas systems.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher said, “The support coincides with the UAE’s celebration of the Year of Zayed and the holy month of Ramadan. 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.”

HH Sheikha Jawaher said, “The grant to NCI is in line with TBHF’s vision to provide free treatment and health and psychological care to children in particular, as well as supporting research. NCI offers the perfect location for R&D as it is part of Cairo University, and employs a large number of academics and researchers.”

Last year 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 support contributed in promoting NCI’s IT infrastructure by providing qualified staff, and training them on the latest IT trends, transforming the institute into a fully-fledged digital hospital with an independent hospital information system, which enabled it to expand and develop its services.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of The Big Heart Foundation said: “The projects carried out by TBHF are not limited to providing emergency relief or humanitarian assistance, but also to implementing sustainable projects that have a continuous impact and bring real change to assist communities. 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.”

NCI in Numbers

Founded in 1969, NCI primarily focuses on cancer treatment, educating and training physicians and students, and theoretical and practical research. It employs 3,200 qualified staff, including faculty members, oncologists, nursing staff and technicians. The Institute was selected as a reference centre for the World Health Organisation in bladder, head and neck cancers.

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 institute’s physicians published more than 50 scientific papers in 2016 in the largest specialized oncology journals, andreceived several prestigious awards for research activities.

The Big Heart Foundation was founded in May 2015, following a number of initiatives and campaigns launched by HH Sheikha Jawaher. The Foundation’s vision is to protect the poor, vulnerable and needy, and provide decent, dignified lives. In order to achieve its goals, the foundation currently oversees four funds: Palestine Fund, a campaign to support Palestinian children, The Refugee Fund, the Girl Child Fund and The Middle East and North Africa Fund.