By Dr. Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui
The Oman Cancer Association (OCA) organised its 16th Annual Cancer Walkathon on Tuesday October 29 with a 3km symbolic walk at the winter-blossomed Al Qurm Nature Park in Muscat, the mesmerizing capital of the Sultanate of Oman.
The walkathon was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. Yahya Bin Badar Al Mawali, Under Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development.
A family event, the walkathon with the theme, ‘Together we win’ saw thousands of youth, men, women and children walk to support cancer patients and their families in the country.
The noble purpose of the walkathon is to raise funds to combat cancer in Oman and raise awareness about cancer. This walkathon was the culmination of the Annual Global October Pink Ribbon initiative for cancer awareness.
The registration fee for the marathon was RO3.5 that provided to the participants — a cancer awareness T-shirt in long and short sleeves; raffle draw coupons where as children who registered also got a free entry coupon to the Park’s children’s corner for the first half an hour.
As part of the awareness programme, for the whole month of October the association provided awareness programs at various Malls in Muscat — Muscat City Centre, Qurum City Centre, Oman Avenues Mall, Mall of Muscat and Muscat Grand Mall during the weekends.
They offered awareness and educational materials, clinical breast examination all free of charge.
Sometimes, they had mobile unit offering free mammograms for women over the age of 40 years.
Various awareness campaigns were conducted in schools, colleges, universities, private and corporate institutions.
Charismatic OCA board member, Dr. Manal bint Abdul Majeed Al Zadjali, marshaled her contingent of HIHS with aplomb at the walkathon.
She has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of awareness and contributing to saving lives of many people.
Her enthusiastic smile, coupled with engaging work, is very reassuring for the cancer patients and all her associates engaged in bringing awareness and fighting cancer.
The walkathon was well planned for the day. There was a well-demarcated walking track along very safe surroundings for children and adults, a food court selling healthy food to raise funds for the association and a children’s corner.
It is significant to recall that Dr. Yahya bin Bader Al Mawali, also first inaugurated the 2014 walkathon and he lends incredible support to bring cancer awareness and fight the disease.
Editor’s note: Dr. Ahmed Mohiuddin SiddiquiI is a felicitated senior journalist, political analyst and columnist based in Oman. He has covered the 2014 walkathon for India Tomorrow and in the subsequent years for The Moroccan Times and The Evening Standard.