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Bahrain plans centre for young cancer patients

Manama, August 7, 2011

Bahraini children suffering from cancer could soon gave a recreation centre which aims to provide a place for young patients and their families to socialise with people going through the same experience.

The Future Society for Youth is establishing the centre at its office in Adliya as part of its 'Smile' initiative to help child cancer patients and their families.

President Soubah Al Zayani said the society had always supported child cancer patients through twice-yearly visits to Salmaniya Medical Complex, but decided to step up their efforts after discovering families had many social needs.

"We noticed during our visits to Salmaniya hospital that children, thank God, have all the treatment that they need and healthcare is available but they don't have someone who understands their situation or have social support," he said.

"Their parents have a problem understanding the children's social situation and they need psychological support. From our meetings with parents we found families want a place outside of the hospital and that's why we are having the centre."

Al Zayani said the centre would be very friendly, with children's activities, a computer laboratory, TV corner, book corner and a corner for handicrafts and drawing.

There will also be a social consultant available to speak to families one-on-one to discuss any difficulties they are facing, and techniques and psychological therapy will be provided where needed.

"They often face problems in society because they don't want to talk about their children's situation," said Al Zayani. "We are willing to assign a part-time social consultant to visit children at home, make a file, so that we can follow up the case and provide all the services they need."

Al Zayani said the society was in talks with art directors and construction workers and had almost finalised the interior design and fittings of the new centre.

He hopes it will be up and running next month. The society is also planning to hold several events this month in support of child cancer patients and their families. They will decorate the paediatric oncology ward to embody the month of Ramadan and will do the same for Eid Al Fitr.

"We will do some funny designs, hang some things from the ceiling to give it a Ramadan feeling," said Al Zayani. "Every month we will visit the centre and do designing in the centre itself."

Al Zayani said the society had created a fundraising group, youth group, parents group and social support group to look after activities related to cancer patients and their families.

The society will hold a ghabga for cancer patients, families, members and guests on August 13 and a gargaoun for children on August 18.

Al Zayani said several companies had come forward to support their activities, but it was now looking for a long-term sponsor to enable it to plan future activities and to ensure the centre will continue for years to come.

"Thank God we have the centre and volunteers and we have got very good feedback so far, but we need more support," he said. "We are now looking for fixed annual support so that we can guarantee the centre will continue and we can put the logo of the company at the entrance of the centre." – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Children | Manama | centre | Cancer patients |

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