Bahrain stepping up war on cancer
Manama, September 29, 2012
Preparations are underway to drape Bahrain in pink this week to mark International Breast Cancer month under the slogan 'Screening Saves Your Life.'
A series of events are in the pipeline for the awareness campaign throughout next month which is being spearheaded by Bahrain Cancer Society (BCS).
Organisers aim to create more public awareness on the life-threatening disease and cancer screenings, adding this year would be their biggest campaign.
"The society has facilitated the screening of more than 19,000 women, aged 40 and above, from 2005 to 2011," said BCS president Dr Abdulrahman Fakhro.
"From those, 2,795 women were referred for further check-ups. And then from that figure 172 were diagnosed with cancer and were able to get the treatment they needed."
"The most important thing is that we are saving lives and spreading awareness about the need for regular cancer screenings and the actions required to reduce the risk of getting cancer."
The society in co-operation with the Health Ministry will distribute educational pamphlets and host seminars and workshops to highlight several preventative measures.
Also throughout the month, groups of volunteers will help cancer patients with emotional and physical supportive activities.
"I am proud to say that we are lucky to have saved some lives because of our campaigns," said BCS secretary-general Ahmed Al Nukakda.
"We have completely focused this campaign on cancer awareness and most importantly early detection.
"In the early stages cancer is treatable but in the late stages it becomes comparatively more difficult and far less successful.
"We want people to get checked up regularly to avoid tragedy."
Organisers will set up pink banners, educational stalls and information booths across the country to target as many women as they can.
They also hope to finalise events such as a walkathon, a Harley-Davidson bikers ride, in addition to several television and radio events.
They will also donate a 3D Ultrasound machine to Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), used for early detection and costing BD92,000 ($242,565), which was raised through fundraisers and charity events.
"The success of the initiative is only made possible with the help of people actively spreading the message," added Al Nukakda.
"We will have booths opening in three spots around the country; Moda Mall, Seef Mall and Block 338.
"We have planned for a new campaign to raise awareness and collect donations.
"We have also asked restaurants in Block 338 in Adliya to ask customers if they would like to have one dinar added to their bill to combat cancer.
"There will be booths to inform the public on the upcoming events and trinkets will be sold to allow people to show their support and donate to the cause.
"But we don't want people to think that this is only for the month. It is part of ongoing efforts to tackle this problem.
"In 2010, we donated equipment to the SMC worth BD250,000 and our new donation to the SMC cancer ward will be a BD92,000 3D Ultrasound machine which is a state-of-the-art equipment for early cancer detection.
"It should be here before the beginning of October."
Screenings on the new machine will be free for those aged 40 and above because they are more prone to developing different types of cancer.
Another new equipment installed at the hospital with the help of the society was a scalp cooler, costing around BD36,000, which prevents hearing loss when patients go through chemotherapy.-TradeArabia News Service