Brief History

Global Cancer Care Egypt was formed by Dr Nabil Isshak and Dr Isis Sidhom in 2002 following their own personal experiences of palliative care in both Egypt and the UK. They sought to introduce the principles of palliative care to Egypt to improve the care available to cancer patients, and their families, with a terminal diagnosis. At the same time Dr Samira Iskander-Gabra, a specialist in palliative medicine at the Marie Curie Hospice, Birmingham, was working on a similar plan. Nabil, Isis and Samira combined their knowledge and experience to work on this shared goal. Meanwhile, staff from Rotherham Hospice, St. Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield, and trustees of the charity Global Cancer Care, Swansea, were approached and continue to support the charity in its challenging work.

Christian charity centres in Egypt who were already supporting patients with long term conditions were initially visited to get them acquainted with the principles of palliative care, as practised in the UK.

Many people have kindly and generously supported GCCE financially and voluntarily over the years, and continue to do so. These include brothers and sisters from various churches throughout the UK, and individuals who give up a lot of time and energy in raising funds for the charity.

Many Egyptian doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals have come from Egypt for training at hospices in the UK, including Rotherham Hospice, St. Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield, and the Macmillan Palliative Care Unit, Sheffield.

Visits to Egypt by a number of medical and nursing specialists from the UK have also taken place since 2003 in order to provide education and training to, not just healthcare professionals, but also the many volunteers who give up their time to care for patients and their families. The training has taken place in Egyptian hospitals, training colleges, universities, and churches, and has taken the form of conferences, seminars, training courses (see below), as well as the production of leaflets and training material.

Work carried out

  • Training doctors & nurses in the UK & Palliative Care specialists visits to Egypt
  • Organising Conferences & lectures at universities, institutes, churches and centres in Egypt
  • National conferences took place at:
    • Tumour Centre Mansoura University
    • Nursing College, Ein-Shams University
    • High Institute of Medical Research, Alexandria
    • Nursing College, Alexandria University
    • American Hospital, Tanta
    • Meridian Hotel, Pyramids
    • Ayadi-al-Mostakbal Charity, Alexandria
  • Establishing and/or supporting palliative care centres at: Centers map
    • Warak/Embaba, Giza
    • Ezbet-al-Nakhl, Cairo
    • Tema, Sohag
    • Hadra, Alexandria
    • Tahta, Sohag
    • Abu-Qorkas, Menya
    • Mansoura
    • Tanta
  • Printing and distribution of educational brochures about common types of cancer & symptoms management.
  • Preparing a palliative care curriculum in Arabic

Archival Pictures

Frank Neal addressing a conference held at Institute of Medical Research. Alexandria
Anne Harriman answering questions in the first conference arranged by GCCE-UK in Egypt  2004

Nursing College Ain-Shams Jan 08                   Cancer Centre, Mansoura University Jan 07

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Jan 07: Council of Middle East Churches invited Dr Samira Iskander-Gabra to arrange a conference on palliative care for directors of Christian hospitals.This took place at the Papal Centre in presence of HH Pope Shenouda III who shared in the discussion and expressed interest in the issues raised


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27 October 2008:  : Meeting at Madinet Nasr arranged by GCCE-UK where HG Bishop Benjamin, DR Neil, Dr Nabil Isshak, and representatives of Ragaa Centres of Mansoura, Menya and Bani-Sweaf gave talks

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2006: A visit by British senior palliative nursing specialists, Alison Reitz and Lynne Potter in the early days of Embaba – Warrak Palliative Care Centre (Global Cancer Care Egypt Charity)

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Jan 2008 :  Faculty of Nurses, Ain-Shams University. Palliative Care Conf. Samira Iskander-Gabra & Lynne Potter, representing GCCE-UK

. جامعة عين شمس. مؤتمر الرعاية التلطيفية بالتعاون مع جلوبال مصر- انجلترا كلية التمريض يناير 2008. بالتنسيق مع أ.د.نادية سيف ورئاسة أ.د.حريصة الشيمي من الجامعة

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Jan 2008: A conference for professors and nurses of the oncology Department, High Institute of Medical Research, Alexandria

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Nov 2005   Shebein-al-Koam (Ezbet Henein). Ragaa Charities conf.

                                                       2005 مؤتمر جمعيات الرجاء بعزبة حنين . شبين الكوم. نوفمبر

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Charity امبابة – الوراق: جمعية جلوبال مصر لرعاية مرضى الأورام  2008

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Oct 2008:     Frank Neal speaking to the wife of a brain tumour patient, Nurse Nawal sharing the conversation. Two more nurses appearing in the background. Romany Day Room, Alexandria