The Children’s Cancer Foundation (YASKA) received a BND2,500 donation from the Royal Thai Embassy in Brunei Darussalam yesterday, in a ceremony at the Women and Children’s Centre at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Haji Abdul Manap bin Othman was the guest of honour.
Thai Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Wanthanee Viputwongsakul handed over the donation to YASKA Vice Chair Tsara’ Nawwarah binti Abdullah Chen.
The donation from the Royal Thai Embassy was made by vendors of the recent Thailand Bazaar at OneCity Shopping Centre. The participants, comprising a local company and Thai businesses, chose to donate to local charity organisation. YASKA was selected as the recipient, as September marks Children Cancer Awareness Month.
Acting Chief Executive Officer (Special Grade) at RIPAS Hospital Abdol Hazis bin Haji Ahad, vendor representatives, and officials from the embassy and RIPAS Hospital also attended.
Tsara’ Nawwarah said, 10 to 15 children in Brunei Darussalam are diagnosed with cancer every year, with the most common type being leukaemia. She also highlighted other types of cancer in children are those affecting the brain, lymph glands, nerve cells, muscles, bones, kidneys and eyes.
“Some forms of paediatric cancer have a survival rate of more than 90 per cent, while others have a survival rate of less than two per cent,” she said.
Currently, there are 165 children registered at YASKA, with the majority aged 10-11 years. The youngest is a two-month-old infant.
“YASKA’s mission is to improve the quality of the lives of children with cancer and their families through practical and emotional support; raise awareness on children’s cancer; and provide funding for the children, as well as cancer advocacy and outreach programmes. We are also very fortunate that the Brunei government provides free treatment for its citizens.
The funding for YASKA is used for therapy, and we try to fulfil the wishes of children with cancer. Toys like cooking sets and Lego are popular choices with the children,” said Tsara’ Nawwarah.
With the funding, YASKA has also hosted numerous activities for the children such as cooking classes, arts and crafts lessons and treasure hunts.