FOCP Forum to Showcase Progress on HPV And Cervical Cancer Prevention

  • All-day forum ‘Turning the Tide on HPV and Cervical Cancer’ to be held on January 31

The emirate of Sharjah will be hosting ‘Turning the Tide on HPV and Cervical Cancer’ forum on Thursday, January 31. The all-day event at Sheraton Sharjah is organised by Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Eastern Mediterranean Noncommunicable Disease Alliance with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Sharjah Health Authority, and Abu Dhabi Department of Health and the participation of stakeholders in the UAE and the region.

Cervical cancer is one of the cancers causing women’s death in the MENA region, and is on track to double its mortality rates by 2040. Studies revealed that Human HPV is the leading cause for throat, mouth and cervical cancers. It is imperative to raise awareness and consolidate efforts to eradicate the vaccine-preventable diseases.

Coinciding with Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, the forum, will bring together decision-makers and stakeholders to showcase progress on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer prevention in the UAE and make the case for increased national and regional collaboration to save countless lives. through workshops, and panel discussions with the participation of all stakeholders including academics, community leaders, scientists, and policy leaders to discuss, promote and enhance programmatic collaborations to strengthen the national response to HPV and cervical cancer prevention, increase awareness and re‐energize national and local responses and boost the momentum around tackling HPV-related diseases through a comprehensive approach.

HE Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of FOCP Board of Directors, commented: “This forum comes at a critical point in time where all stakeholders should come together to discuss mechanisms and tackle issues that will help raise awareness about HPV and Cervical Cancer to save lives. These diseases are curable if diagnosed and treated at an early stage, we need to dispel any stigmas and misinformation in our communities in order to minimise their impact on our societies.

“Since our inception, FOCP has been working tirelessly with all concerned government entities and private sector locally to raise awareness and fight these diseases. We also work very closely with international organisations to consolidate and coordinate efforts to eliminate them.

“Sharjah and the UAE have been a role model in raising awareness about cancer and Non-communicable Diseases.  They spare no effort to launch and support initiatives not just locally, but around the world to eradicate these diseases,” she added.

The forum’s opening remarks will be given by HE Sawsan Jafar; HE Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary, Ministry of Health and Prevention and the leader of the Higher National Committee on Immunization; HE Abdulla Ali Al Mahyan, Chairman of the Sharjah Health Authority; and Dr Luay Shabaneh, Regional Director for the Arab States, UNFPA.

Representatives and key figures from the World Health Organisation, Morocco Ministry of Health, Libya Ministry of Health, Dubai Health Department will be taking part in the forum amongst others.

Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 1999 with the aim of spreading awareness about the six early detectable cancers; breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, testicular cancer and colon cancer.

Apart from its awareness activities, FOCP provides moral and financial support for thousands of patients and their families regardless of nationality and age. It has so far provided support for more than 4,200 cancer patients and their families living in the UAE.

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