The Ministry of Health and Prevention has launched its month-long Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Program to raise community awareness on early detection and diagnosis, prevention and treatment methods, and risk factors. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and among the top five causes of death among cancer types.
Several activities, events, and educational programs were staged during the launch to urge community members to undergo early breast cancer screening test. Awareness activities took place in the Ministry-run health centers and government offices across the country as well. Other activities lined up during the month of October include Lectures and workshops, presentation of educational videos focusing on early detection and prevention tips, among others, and educational films to be posted to the Ministry’s social media channels.
H.E. Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centers, said that the Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Program is part of the Itmenan campaign, which involves the ‘Universal Periodic Examination’ and ‘Early Detection of Cancer’ initiatives adopted by the Council of Ministers. In line with the UAE’s Government Accelerator approach, Itmenan seeks to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality index in the country, help boost the objectives of the National Agenda of UAE Vision 2021, and lessen cases of noncommunicable diseases by 2025.
He added that the Ministry is promoting healthy lifestyle in local communities by collaborating with its partners in implementing the provisions of the National Strategy for the Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2017-2021. The partnership corresponds with the Ministry’s core strategy to provide a comprehensive and integrated health care system delivered in innovative and sustainable ways.
Dr. Fadila Mohamed Sherif, Director of Health Education and Promotion Department, said the Ministry will hold a series of events at the RAK Mall, Al Manama Hypermarket- Umm Al Quwain, Lulu Mall- Fujairah, Umm Al Moumineen Women’s Association-Ajman, Al Ghurair Centre. The activities will continue to take place at some tourist spots like Al Majaz Waterfront-Sharjah, and other entities like Dubai Sports Council. as part of the awareness program. The events will include medical counseling and information campaign to be led by a specialist doctor who will shed light on breast cancer, risk factors such as infection. If breast cancer is detected and treated early, the recovery rate goes up to more than 90 per cent.
Dr. Esmat Al Qassim, Head of Early Detection of Cancer Initiative, said the newly launched program also encourages individuals to undergo mammography in radiology centers and a mobile mammography clinic. Emiratis can avail of the service free of charge. NMC Hospital will provide free screening for residents during events.
She said that human capacity development forms part of the program. Training for medical staff will be conducted to improve their skills in early detection and keep them abreast of new scientific developments and the latest early screening methods. Additionally, the Ministry will work with both government and private health centers and organizations to combat breast cancer.
The Ministry has dispatched a mobile mammography clinic manned by skilled medical staff and a specialized technician. Results of the exam will be available as soon as possible after they have been read by a physician. Leaflets, educational brochures, and other similar materials will be distributed as well to provide women of all nationalities in the country with health tips.
Prasanth Manghat, CEO and Executive Director NMC Health Plc said, “The battle to defeat cancer requires collaboration at multiple levels. NMC is privileged to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Prevention in its month-long Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Program to raise community awareness on early detection and diagnosis, prevention and treatment methods, and risk factors. Breast cancer is one of the top five causes of death among all cancer types. This shall serve the tenets of the UAE National Agenda’s (2021) indicator to reduce cancer mortality. In order to promote healthy lifestyle habits and running such preventive health checks would go a long way in reducing the prevalence of breast cancer in the country.”