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Armenia PM’s spouse Anna Hakobyan speach at the opening ceremony of the annual Scientific Conference of Children’s Oncology Eastern and Mediterranean Group (POEM)

Dear Guests,

Welcome to Yerevan. This is the first time Armenia is hosting the participants of the Pediatric Oncology East and Mediterranean Group scientific meeting, and it is very important for us. It is important, because we want to become an active part of the global cancer community, we want our patients to have a possibility to receive the best possible cancer care and to receive it in Armenia, starting from diagnostics to follow up. Our goal is to have one of the top cancer services in the region, that Armenian patients no more seek treatment outside of our country, just vice versa, we want to develop our oncology services so much, that we have the possibility to treat patients from the even other countries. Of course it is a challenge to fulfill this goal, for that we would need different factors, including dedicated professionals, finances, and educational and scientific efforts. But the best thing about it is that we are full of determination to make this goal happen and step by step we will get there.

As you may know I am the President of the Board of Trustees of the „City of Smile“ Foundation. The current mission of the foundation is to make sure that every child with cancer receives appropriate care, so currently we are covering the costs of the treatment, but our long term mission is to support the realization of the goals what I just mentioned above.

As a first step, we combined the three main pediatric cancer units in Armenia, centralizing pediatric cancer care in one place, which means coordination of the efforts, more collaboration between the doctors, better conditions for the patients and their families.

I am sure the directors of our hospitals made sure to combine these two important events in the same days, I mean the creation of the Pediatric cancer and blood disorders center and the international conference, and this was a very good idea, because it has a special meaning for us. It is very important for us these professional discussion, which are taking place these days and, of course, all of the professionals, who are present here are important for us as well. Our doctors have a lot to learn from you, but in the meantime they have a lot to share with the international medical community.

Here are physicians and nurses, scientists from all over the world, who will share the news in the pediatric oncology in coming days, and will try to find better ways to conquer it. It is important for Armenia not only to become a platform for these discussions, but also to be able to take and implement every successful treatment method and to be an innovator as well.

At the end all of us have one purpose – to conquer the cancer. In this room there are people from different countries, with different religions, but we all sit together at one table and the one thing which units as is that we have to help more kids to win the cancer, and to bring the smile to one more child.

And in this battle everyone has to contribute.

I wish you a fruitful and pleasant discussion, and please, find that “magic key”, which will help to bring back the smile to every child with cancer. And I am sure, even if not today, the modern medicine will do it, and that day is very close.

Thank you.