DUBAI, 3rd March, 2018 (WAM) — Despite it being a Friday, Dubai was up bright and early to offer a grand welcome to the Pink Caravan breast cancer awareness ride, which is currently travelling across the seven emirates spreading the message of the importance of early detection and heightening people’s 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 and interactive way.
Organised annually by the Friends of Cancer Patients, FoCP, a cancer charity, the eighth edition of the pan-UAE initiative is currently underway, under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and Royal Patron of FoCP.
The six-kilometre horse ride kicked-off at the Jumeirah Water Canal and campaigned along the Jumeirah Road until the end point of the equine route, which was set at the iconic Etihad Museum. Pink Caravan’s AED15-million mobile medical clinic that has been established to offer specialised breast and cervical cancer screenings through the year was at the venue offering free check-ups to visitors.
The Director of Etihad Museum, Abdullah Mohammed Al Falasi, was present to receive the pink brigade. Emphasising the importance of community initiatives such as the Pink Caravan Ride and linking it the nation’s spirit of continually ensuring the welfare of its people, he said, “We are very happy to be the hosting venue of the Pink Caravan Ride. This initiative is giving society the knowledge and awareness about women’s health and wellbeing in terms of cancer.
“Now touching upon the point of Etihad museum’s support to this noble cause Etihad Museum started to bring the UAE’s past to the present and future generations of the world. Before the unification of the country, community health was not at its peak. However, with our seven founding fathers led by our late President Sheikh Zayed Sultan bin Al Nahyan, the leadership has been really focusing on improving people’s health in the country and the region.
“Today, the UAE is fortifying its health and wellness infrastructure in each emirate and it is campaigns like the Pink Caravan Ride that are realising the leadership’s vision for its people,” he stated.
Reem BinKaram, Head of the Pink Caravan’s Higher Steering Committee, marched alongside the ride from start to finish in a gesture of strong commitment to the cause of breast cancer awareness.
Upon being asked about her impression of the campaigning in Dubai, BinKaram remarked, “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 go receive free screenings at the three medical 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.”
The Pink Caravan Medical Awareness Committee carried out a total of 673 screenings for 566 women and 107 men. These included 52 locals and 621 expatriates, comprising 242 people in the 40+ age category and 431 individuals below 40 years of age. After the initial screenings, 496 walk-ins were given the safe card, 159 were referred for a mammogram, and 18 were advised to undergo an ultrasound.
All the fixed medical clinics across the UAE are offering free mammograms and medical consultations until 11th March. These clinics are located at Sharjah’s Al Majaz Waterfront in Ajman Corniche; Al Qwasem Corniche in RAK; Umm Al Qaiwain’s Sheikh Khalifa General Hospital; the Fujairah Corniche, and at the Al Seef Village Mall in Abu Dhabi.
The fixed clinic in Dubai will be set up in Dubai Mall and will be operational starting Sunday until 11th March.
The week-long ride is travelling across the seven emirates until 6th March, offering free breast cancer screenings and raising awareness about the disease by emphasising the significance of early detection.