Pink Caravan marks World Cancer Day

WAM Sharjah, Feb 04th, 2013 (WAM)–The annual Ride of the Pink Caravan, the pan-UAE breast cancer awareness initiative by the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable organisation, completed a journey of 35 km from on Sunday, trekking from Al Dhaid Hospital to Masafi in Fujairah.

The Pink Caravan’s medical team provided medical tests to applicants in Al Dhaid Hospital and Masafi Hospital on the second day of the 10-day journey. The riders and medical teams were warmly welcomed by people of Al Dhaid and Massafi, who commended the great role being played by Pink Caravan in raising breast cancer awareness and providing early detection tests.

The second day of the ride saw the Pink Caravan’s medical teams provide screenings to 576 members of the public at Al Dhaid Hospital and Masafi Hospital. According to the second day’s statistics, 418 women and 158 men received medical screenings, of which 323 were Emirati nationals and 253 expatriates, bringing the total number of people who received tests during the first two days to 1030 men and women.

On the second day, 187 women were referred for mammogram screening and 25 women were referred for ultrasound examination. 348 of the individuals being tested were under the age of 40 were people, while 257 were above 40.

As part of their mandate to increase cancer awareness, the Pink Caravan is promoting World Cancer Day 2013, which is being held under the theme ï؟ ½Dispel damaging myths and misconceptions’ and was launched by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

The Pink Caravan aims to achieve this goal through their breast cancer awareness and early detection campaign.

Commenting on the occasion, Secretary General for Friends of Cancer Patients charitable organisation (FoCP) and Head of the Pink Caravan’s Medical and Awareness committee, Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, said, "The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has estimated that 1.5 million lives being lost to cancer, could be saved per year if decisive measures are taken to achieve the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ï؟ ½25 by 25′ target, which aims to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25 per cent by 2025. In fact, this is exactly what we aim to achieve through FoCP’s various initiatives and campaigns, especially Pink Caravan." According to UICC, 7.6 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). Therefore unless urgent action is taken to raise awareness about the disease and to develop practical strategies to address cancer, by 2025, an alarming 6 million premature cancer deaths per year is being projected.

Speaking about the results of the second day, Al Madhi said, "The Pink Caravan’s teams have been working tirelessly and proven their ability to shoulder this great responsibility. The number of applicants for screenings increased to 576 people in the second day of the campaign, above the daily average of 500. We are ready to receive any number of people as we deeply believe in the value of this initiative and its goals." She added, "The electronic application system, developed in collaboration with Etisalat, and used for the first time, has helped facilitate application process, allowing us to easily and efficiently save and document the personal data of each applicant." The E-application system is being used to help conduct studies and research to further improve the Pink Caravan’s services and adopt best practices, as well as aiding in the creation of a comprehensive cancer registry for all citizens and expatriates in the UAE.

On day four, Tuesday, February 5, the riders will be trekking to Ras Al Khaimah, where the medical teams will be available at Saqr Hospital. On Wednesday, February 6, the riders will trek from Umm Al Quwain to Ajman and the medical teams will be stationed at Umm Al Quwain Hospital and Khalifa Hospital. On the sixth day, Thursday, February 7, the Caravan will travel from Ajman to Sharjah and the clinics will be present at the Exhibition Grounds behind Carrefour Centre Ajman.

On Friday, the clinics will be at Sharjah National Park and on Saturday, the Pink Caravan will be in Dubai until Sunday, February 10. The clinics will operate at Ousha Bint Hussain Cultural Centre and Dubai Police Clinic. The Caravan will go on to Al Ain on Monday, where the clinics will be set up at Al Ain Municipality and Al Salamat Family Park. The Pink Caravan will culminate its journey in Abu Dhabi at Burjeel Hospital on Tuesday, February 12.


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