ABU DHABI, 16th January, 2019 (WAM) — The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the National Health Insurance Company (Daman), have signed an agreement to raise awareness on the importance of cancer early detection screenings. This first-of-its-kind initiative is targeting a selected group and will be carried out via phone calls and SMS messages.
This is a part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement signed today between DoH and Daman in the presence of Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of Department of Health. (MoU) signed by H.E. Mohamed Al Hameli, Undersecretary of DoH, and Dr. Michael Bitzer, CEO of Daman.
The three-month trial phase will be launched mid-January and will run in conjunction with DoH’s annual cancer awareness campaign ‘Live Healthily and Simply Check’. The scheme is being introduced as part of DoH’s ongoing efforts to establish a culture of cancer prevention among the community through early screenings and following a balanced lifestyle to reduce susceptibility to the disease.
Mohammad Hamad Al Hameli, Undersecretary of DoH, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Daman and to take this pivotal step forward in raising awareness on the importance of cancer prevention through early screenings. This, in turn, will increase survival rate and full recovery in patients, which will directly improve quality of local residents’ lives and encourage ‘A Healthier Abu Dhabi’ “.
He stressed on the importance of prevention by adopting a healthy lifestyle and pursuing regular physical activity, as these two factors play a fundamental role in reducing the risk of cancer.
As per the terms of the agreement, Daman is looking forward to two key milestones during the trial period, which will then be evaluated and enhanced after the first three months of implementation. The first group will receive SMS messages, prompting them to reserve an appointment for early cancer screening particularly for cervical cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer. The second group will include both SMS messages and phone calls serving as a gentle reminder for the same purpose.
Dr Michael Bitzer, CEO of Daman, said: “Our role comes as part of our ongoing efforts to support the objectives of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi of offering world-class preventative healthcare services, especially when it comes to cancer detection and screening.
He added: “Daman has supported this initiative by providing data and statistics that have been collected and analysed over the last ten years which also show the important role health insurance plays within the overall healthcare system.”
DoH calls upon members of the community to seek early detection services, which has the potential to lead to full recovery and reduce mortality rates caused by late diagnosis.