Sharjah: Pink Caravan received a grand welcome in Dubai on Friday, as the breast cancer awareness ride currently travelling across the seven emirates, drove home the importance of early detection and increasing the awareness about getting screened regularly.
The day of campaigning in Dubai was marked by 673 free screenings, a Pink Regatta and a Junior Fun Day organised to increase awareness of the UAE’s younger generations about cancer in a fun, interactive way.
Organised annually by the Friends Of Cancer Patients (FOCP), a cancer charity, the eighth edition of the pan-UAE initiative is currently under way, under the patronage of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, and founder and royal patron of FoCP.
The 6km horse ride kicked off at the Jumeirah Water Canal, and campaigned along the Jumeirah Road until the end point of the route, which was set at the iconic Etihad Museum.
Pink Caravan’s Dh15-million mobile medical clinic that offers specialised breast and cervical cancer screening throughout the year was at the venue offering free check-ups to visitors.
Reem Bin Karam, head of the Pink Caravan’s Higher Steering Committee, marched alongside the ride from start to finish in a gesture of commitment to the cause of breast cancer awareness.
“I was touched by the enthusiasm of our brave volunteers who have been campaigning non-stop over the past few days, and have already reached out to two emirates with their message. Their eagerness to interact with the numerous residents of Dubai who were out for their morning walks and Friday breakfasts, share with them the message of our initiative, and their ardent requests to community members to receive free screening at the three clinics spread across Dubai, really sums up the courageous and selfless spirit of our pink soldiers of hope. They are the reason why the Pink Caravan Ride has been able to achieve whatever it has in the past seven years,” said Bin Karam.
In Dubai, the caravan screened 673 people, which included 107 men. These included 52 locals and 621 expatriates, comprising 242 people in the 40-plus age category and 431 individuals below 40 years.
After the initial screenings, 496 walk-ins were given the safe card, 159 were referred for a mammogram, and 18 were advised to undergo the ultrasound scanning.
A host of awareness activities such as the signature sailing event, the Pink Regatta, paraded around The Palm, and a Junior Fun Day at the Al Qudra Lakes was organised with the aim of reaching out to the maximum number of people across age groups.
The children’s activity featured a small ride for young equestrians alongside a line-up of fun games and sports.
Several clinics aligned with the campaign across the UAE are offering free mammography and medical consultation until March 11. These clinics are located at Sharjah’s Al Majaz Waterfront, in Ajman Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain’s Shaikh Khalifa General Hospital, the Fujairah Corniche, and at Al Seef Village Mall in Abu Dhabi.
A clinic set up at The Dubai Mall will offer free screenings from Sunday until March 11.
The weeklong ride is travelling across the seven emirates until March 6, offering free breast cancer screenings, and raising awareness about the disease by emphasising the significance of early detection.
The caravan headed to Ras Al Khaimah on Saturday for a 12.2km ride, starting at the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development, passing by Saqr Hospital and culminated at Al Qawasim Corniche.
On Sunday, the riders of pink hope will proceed to Umm Al Quwain, where they will travel 9.7km on horseback starting at Al Salama Health Centre and concluding the ride at the Umm Al Quwain Hospital.
To enhance people’s participation and charitable acts in the ‘UAE Year of Zayed,’ donations start as low as Dh5 can be made by sending an SMS to 2302 (Etisalat or du).
Direct fund transfers can be made to Pink Caravan’s Sharjah Islamic Bank account.
The caravan’s official website, Facebook account (ThePinkCaravan) or their mobile app (Pink Caravan) can also be used for making donations.