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King Abdullah and Queen Rania lay foundation stone to improve cancer treatment

King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan attended a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the new King Hussein Cancer Centre in Aqaba. 

On Thursday, 2 March, Their Majesties arrived in the special economic zone of Aqaba, where the King laid the foundation stone of the area’s first cancer centre. 

Also present for the ceremony were Princess Ghida Talal, chairwoman of the board of trustees for the King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Centre; Feras Al Hawari, Minister of Health; Nayef Al Fayez, Chief Commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority; and Khaled Hajjaj, the Governor of Aqaba. 

Members of the board of trustees of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation and the King Hussein Cancer Centre were also in attendance. 

This project is part of a massive extension plan on the currently existing structure, centring around the foundation’s work in various cities around Jordan. In 2021, the Samih Darwazah Oncology Centre was inaugurated within Al Bashir Hospital, and there are plans to expand the currently existing structures in the Amman Centre as well. 

The new extension of the Aqaba King Hussein Cancer Centre is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2024, according to the Royal Hashemite Court. It will employ around 90 personnel members, including doctors, nurses and support staff. 

The project has envisioned a four-storey building, extending over an area of 6.7 square kilometres. Aside from early detection and therapy wings, it will also have space for laboratories, a pharmacy, a home care service and palliative care care/pain management. 

This centre will be a revolution in the way care is offered to cancer patients in the area, as they will be able to remain in Aqaba, or at least travel a much shorter distance than what they currently have to, seeing as though the best care centres are all located in the capital Amman. 

Aqaba is a special administrative region of Jordan and the destination of many of King Abdullah and Queen Rania’s recent trips. It was also the backdrop for the latest round of discussions between Israel and Palestine at the end of February, following the worrying escalation of violence in the last few weeks.