Close the Care Gap: TLJCF Celebrates World Cancer Day 2023

Eliminating general fear and shame to screen in order to reduce mortality risk from cancer

Commemorative group photo of TLJCF’s World Cancer Day 2023

The Tunku Laksamana Johor Cancer Foundation, in partnership with the Johor State Health Department, celebrated World Cancer Day 2023 at Plaza Angsana Johor Bahru. The annual programme aims to increase public awareness on cancer and encourage people to get regular screenings so that cancer can be detected at an early stage.

Present were Dr Zaliha Mustafa, Minister of Health Malaysia, Dato’ Dr Aman Rabu, Director of the Johor State Health Department (JKNJ), State Health and Unity Committee chairman Ling Tian Soon, Dato’ Mohamed Perang Haji Musa, Executive Director of Tunku Laksamana Johor Cancer Foundation, Mohd Ikmal Izam Zaini, Chief Executive Officer of TLJCF and other honourable guests.

Dr Zaliha Mustafa, Minister of Health Malaysia giving a speech before the officiation ceremony of World Cancer Day 2023 by TLJCF

Dr Zaliha in her officiation speech has called on the public to get regular cancer screening. “Feelings fear or shame to seek treatment must be removed in order to reduce cases of late-detected cancer. Usually, cancer cases that are detected late will reduce the rate of recovery, further increasing the risk of death. I hope that the general public will be more aware of the health of themselves and their families by doing regular health screenings,” she said.

This year’s World Cancer Day theme is ‘Close the Care Gap’, which focuses on bridging the gaps for all cancer fighters in receiving treatment or care, regardless of their background. The general public should also be well aware of cancer diagnosis, such as early screening that can be done to prevent cancer.

Besides the exhibitions and health screenings by government and private agencies, there were also poster drawing competitions, colouring contests, and brief health briefings. The public were also able to ask questions about cancer and their health during a popcorn session.

Tunku Laksamana Johor Cancer Foundation Executive Director, Dato’ Mohamed Perang Haji Musa also opined that cancer is not the end of a person’s life, and that stigma affect emotions and also cancer treatment care.

“This kind of stigma that we must eliminate continuously gives awareness to the community about the true reality of cancer and at the same time can increase the best access to the community about early detection, diagnosis and the best treatment for this disease in line with the theme of World Cancer Day this year, “Close The Care Gap,” he mentioned in a statement.

In addition to organising a cancer awareness programme, the Foundation has also channeled RM10.3 million worth of aid to 3,144 cases of cancer fighters around Johor.

Among the aid distributed to cancer fighters were medical aid, milk aid for special needs, PET scan tests, fares to and from the hospital as well as equipment aid such as stoma bags, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and disposable diapers.