Chance to Change:
30% of women in the UAE who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer lose their life each year
Campaign to highlight how an increase in awareness of available tests and vaccines can help to reduce fatalities of the largely preventable disease
United Arab Emirates, 30 April, 2018: Zulekha Healthcare Group has launched today the fifth edition of its cervical cancer campaign at Conrad Hotel Dubai. The campaign, which was launched in 2014, has proved highly effective in increasing screenings at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah and Dubai, with attendees of 282 in 2014 which has grown exponentially by 249% to 984 attendees during 2017.
A report by HPV Information Centre outlined that at present 1.82 million women in the UAE are at risk of developing cervical cancer, and that every year 93 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 28 die from the disease (30%). Cervical cancer is a largely preventable disease, but worldwide it is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women with 266,000 fatalities each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In order to increase early detection and prevention of cervical cancer among women in the UAE and in honour of the Year of Zayed, Zulekha Healthcare Group will offer 500 girls and boys free cervical cancer vaccine opportunities to prevent the disease later in life. The preventative vaccines are open to girls and boys aged between 9 and 26 years and includes residents and visitors to the UAE. This activation aims to support the UAE government's efforts to decrease cancer fatalities by 18% by 2021.
The launch event was attended by His Excellency Abdulla Ali Al Mahyan, Member of Executive Council & Chairman, Sharjah Health Authority; Dr Ibtesam Al Bastaki, Director of Investment and Partnership, Dubai Health Authority; Mr. Abdulla Salem Al Kaabi, Director General Rahma Cancer Patient Care Society; His Excellency Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, Chairman, Labour Standards Development Authority, Government of Sharjah Shri Vipul, Consul General of India in Dubai; and many other esteemed guests for the 2018 ‘Chance to Change' inauguration.
Extending her support towards the campaign, H.E Reem BinKaram said: “We are glad to see the difference made by Zulekha Hospital by taking this initiative to educate the masses on early detection and prevention of cervical cancer year on year. Cervical cancer is preventable if diagnosed early. Doctors play a very important role in educating women who visit them as well as others in the society on the importance of early detection. I urge corporations and healthcare institutions to join hands in spreading the message and work towards making UAE cancer-free.”
The ‘Chance to Change' campaign is supported by partners Al Rahma Cancer Patient Care Society, Julphar, Air Arabia, Cool & Cool, VanityKraft, Jet Airways, STAR Plus, Big FM, Club FM, Meydan, Queens Spa and Salon and Bhima Super Women, comes in line with Zulekha Hospital's core CSR objectives and continued focus on raising healthcare standards and improving the quality of life of UAE residents.
Zanubia Shams, Zulekha Hospital Co-chairperson, added: “We are always determined to play an important role in cancer prevention in UAE. A simple but vital change can be made through greater awareness and education of the availability of life-saving screenings for women and vaccinations for girls and boys . Our continued focus is to raise healthcare standards, improve the lifestyle of UAE residents and decrease cancer fatalities in line with the UAE's healthcare vision.”
The hospital offers free human papillomavirus (HPV) test and consultations with gynaecologists alongside the 500 free vaccination opportunities.