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by Jia Ying Chia

The Children’s Cancer Foundation’s (YASKA) new Community Centre in Jalan Babu Raja will be a place for the foundation to continue its efforts in providing critical welfare support for young cancer patients and survivors, announced YASKA Advisor Dr Hajah Norehan binti Haji johari at the centre’s launch earlier this year.

She also noted that thanks to the increased awareness of childhood cancer in the local community, people are more aware of the early signs, and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for improved chances of survival. Alhamdulillah, our deaths from cancer in children has reduced from 30% to 27% in the last 12 years,”  she praised adding that the YASKA centre would provide the children and their families with ” a place for social and recreational activities academic learning and support therapeutic play and caregiver support”. 

More than 40,000 children and adolescents below 20 years old are estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) every year to be diagnosed with cancer, according to data from 2011. Statistics from the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) hospital-based cancer registry show that approximately 117 children below the age of 12 in Brunei have been diagnosed with some form of cancer between 2010 to 2022.

Dr. Hajah Norehan also thanked the institutions and supporting partners who had been instrumental in development and progress that YASKA has made over the 12 years, recollecting the story of seven-year-old Aishah, who was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. “Her cancer journey was long and difficult. Aishah recently left us on the 3rd of May 2023, after battling cancer for four years,”  she revealed, explaining that Aishah’s mother had shared with them that throughout her treatment Aishah’s fonder memories were the activities organised by YASKA in the Children’s Ward particularly nail painting and baking.

The NGO was founded in 2011 with the aim of supporting children with cancer, and their families, and to raise awareness of childhood cancer in Brunei Darussalam. Head to their Instagram to volunteer your time or donate to the various activities and initiatives.

IG: @yaska_brunei

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