• Zulekha Hospital dedicates awareness launch to late Amira Bin Karam, an epitome of compassion and care

As part of cervical cancer awareness month and in line with the Dubai government’s 2017 Year of Giving, Zulekha Hospital has launched the Chance to Change campaign to raise awareness of cervical cancer.

This year’s initiative has been dedicated to the late Amira Bin Karam, former Chairwoman of the Sharjah Business Women Council and Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP), in recognition of her passion for humanitarian and female empowerment services.

Inaugurated at the W Hotel in Dubai last night, the campaign’s launch event welcomed a host of leading oncologists who delivered individual and panel sessions on the prevention and risks of cervical cancer.

Dr Pamela Munster, Professor, Department of Medicine (Haematology/Oncology) at University of California delivered the keynote speech, which addressed the importance of staging awareness events across the UAE.

 “Events such as these are so important,” Dr Munster said. “They not only shine a light on cervical cancer and the dangers surrounding it but they also open up the line of communication between the hospital and the patient.  We have seen the exponential growth of Zulekha Hospital’s campaigns from 475 women receiving free consultations and Pap tests in 2015 to over 1,400 in 2016.

“It’s extremely encouraging to see the amount of women participating in these initiatives grow year on year and it further solidifies our need to initiate these campaigns to raise awareness for cervical cancer in the UAE.”

Among the dignitaries present were Sara Al Madani, Board Member at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Dr Yaser Al Nuaimi, Expert Advisor for Hospital Sector & Consultant Paediatrician, Ministry of Health and Prevention.

Zulekha Hospital’s 2016 campaign drive recorded more than 1,400 women taking advantage of the free specialist gynaecologist consultations, Pap tests and HPV vaccines provided by the hospital branches in Sharjah and Dubai.

Zanubia Shams, Co-Chairperson of Zulekha Hospitals said: “Cervical cancer can affect as many as 93 women across the UAE every year. The number of fatal cases among these can be as high as 28. For a disease that can be easily prevented and eradicated through regular screening and vaccinations, we have made it our goal to reach as many women in the Emirates as possible.”

This year’s initiative, under the theme ‘Chance to Change’, will run for the fourth consecutive year as one of the hospital’s key CSR initiatives to campaign and raise awareness among women for the prevention and fight against cervical cancer.

Commonly derived from human papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer can easily be prevented from an early age if vaccinations are given before individuals are exposed to the virus. Through their awareness campaigns, Zulekha Hospital’s long-term goal is to completely eradicate any occurrence of the disease in the UAE.

The campaign is supported by partners including Friends of Cancer Patients, Cytomed, Air Arabia, Musafir.com and 106.2 BIG FM. For more information and registration, visit: http://change.zulekhahospitals.com/.

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