MTN and UNDP to establish Syria’s first Cancer Research Centre
MTN has signed a Cost Sharing Agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the State Planning Commission that will facilitate the establishment of the first cancer research centre in Syria.
The partnership forms part of the UN Global Compact*, a strategic platform that allows participants to advance their commitments to sustainability and corporate citizenship through public-private initiatives.
The envisaged facility, to be called the MTN Cancer Research Centre, will help address Syria's health sector needs by providing registered information and database surrounding cancer cases around the country. The centre will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to facilitate diagnosing cancer cases and early intervention among men, women and children.
In addition, the centre will assist in determining causes, assessing frequency, and ascertaining geographical distribution of the disease. It is expected to serve as a national resource that will comprise of epidemiological study, clinical research, and prevention and cessation intervention development.
Mr. Ismail Jaroudi, MTN Syria CEO, said MTN believes in serving the community within which it operates by supporting initiatives that address national needs and concerns.
“Cancer has always been a global concern responsible for 13% of deaths in 2008 alone. This partnership with the UNDP provides MTN with an excellent opportunity to improve the entire approach towards cancer in Syria. This is an effort we are proud to be associated with.”
The MTN Cancer Research Centre will be based at selected hospitals selected by the project partners in Syria. For its part, MTN will contribute USD 500,000 over five years to finance the facility.
Said Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad, UNDP Resident Representative: “The lack of statistics and information surrounding cancer in Syria has created an obvious difficulty in setting a national action plan, dealing with the various cases of infection, organising the clinical database, determining causes, frequency and geographical distribution.
“We are hopeful this collaboration of efforts will make an outstanding difference and a significant push towards arming the country with the information required, medical expertise and enough resources to control the epidemic and diminish its spread,” said Ahmad.
The MTN Cancer Research Centre will provide training for physicians and nursing staff, communication and patient care nursing courses and public awareness information. Once accomplished, the centre will provide the country with its first cancer cases map that covers cancer distribution, types and number of cases across Syria.
UNDP's major role is to support the project by coordinating the activities with the UN Global Compact Project team and to ensure effectual participation of all parties to come out with required results. It will also be responsible of managing funds and inputs, planning the centre's activities and to report the project's progress and achievements to the project board.
-Issued by MTN Group Corporate Affairs
ABOUT MTN GROUP
Launched in 1994, MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN". As at 31 March 2009, MTN recorded 98,2 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.mtn.com , www.mtnfootball.com
UNDP is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It is on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and their wide range of partners. The Programme has been operating in Syria since 1962 and continues to extend support to the Syrian Government efforts in achieving the MDGs and sustainable economic growth, as well as improving human development through employability of the population leading to reduction of poverty. UNDP works with the State Planning Commission, as its primary counterpart, and partners with the different line ministries, public sector institutions, nongovernmental organizations, private sector organizations, as well as donors. UNDP provides advice and technical backstopping on different issues to support national planning and policy-making to strengthen economic and social reforms. Visit www.undp.org.sy
*About UN Global Compact
The UN Global Compact presents a unique strategic platform for participants to advance their commitments to sustainability and corporate citizenship. Structured as a public-private initiative, the Global Compact project offers a policy framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of sustainability principles and practices related to its four core areas: Human Rights, Labour, the Environment, and Anti-Corruption. The Syria project aims at enhancing civic engagement and corporate social responsibility of private sector by promoting the ten principles of the UN Global Compact as well as forging partnerships between private sector organizations, public sector institutions and civil society. The Global Compact project in Syria was launched under the patronage of H.E the Head of State Planning Commission and in the presence of the Deputy Chairperson of the UN Global Compact, in July 2008. Visit www.unglobalcompact.org
For more information please contact:
MTN Group Communications
Mobile: +27 83 212 2459
MTN Syria Corporate Affairs
Mobile: 963 (9) 44 222 901