Humaid Al Qatami signs the ‘Smear, Don't Fear’
campaign pledge to prevent cervical cancer
Zulekha Hospital launches cervical cancer awareness campaign
DUBAI, UAE , May 2, 2016
Dubai-based Zulekha Hospital has launched its cervical cancer screening and prevention campaign aimed to promote early detection and save lives across the UAE.
Developed for the third consecutive year, the ‘Smear, Don’t Fear’ campaign is one of Zulekha Hospital’s key CSR initiatives, stressing the importance of regular checks for early detection and educating the wider public about the cervical cancer vaccine that can eliminate the disease.
This year’s campaign, run under the theme “Today is the Day,” was launched during a press conference featuring prominent doctors and global cancer campaigners, highlighting the need for urgent action following the dramatic rise of cervical cancer in the UAE.
As part of the new campaign, women in the UAE can take advantage of free specialist consultations and Pap tests at Zulekha Hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah from now until June 30.
Humaid Al Qatami, chairman of the board and director-general of the Dubai Health Authority, said during the inauguration: “This is the third time we’re extending our support to Zulekha Hospital in their effort to spread the message that cervical cancer can be easily prevented and effectively cured, if detected in the early stages. Such public awareness campaigns are vital to educate the community about preventive healthcare and screening.”
Zanubia Shams, co-chairperson of Zulekha Hospitals said: “Worldwide statistics list cervical cancer as the second most common cancer among females between 15-45 years of age and we want to highlight both the risk of the disease and the importance of regular checks.”
“The main objective behind our initiative is to educate women about the symptoms, risks and prevention as cervical cancer is the second most common cancer affecting hundreds of thousands worldwide. More than 92 per cent of those diagnosed in the early stages can, however, be successfully cured,” she added.
The disease is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and the campaign’s long-term goal is to permanently eradicate the incidence of cervical cancer in the UAE by promoting and implementing a country-wide HPV vaccination initiative. The vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls under the age of 13 and can prevent most cases of cervical cancer if given before a female is exposed to the virus, according to United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Annually, cervical cancer affects as many as 93 women in the Emirates with 28 fatal cases on average, but regular screening can effectively prevent the disease, said a press statement. – TradeArabia News Service