Sharjah: Organizers of the Pink Caravan Ride, the UAE’s most important and extensive annual cancer awareness campaign have confirmed that the eighth edition of the event will take place from February 28 until March 6.
The nationwide initiative by the Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP), which promotes the importance of early detection of breast cancer, will set off around the UAE on a seven-day mission to offer free health advice and medical screenings to all members of the community.
The starting date for the Pink Caravan Ride 2018 was approved by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of FoCP, International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC.
This year, the Pink Caravan Ride will be condensed and intensified into one day for each of the seven emirates, sharing its message of awareness across the country, reflecting the strength of the Spirit of the Union, the doctrine of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The ride will travel with highly-trained medical teams with specialist knowledge of cancer detection and the most contemporary methods and equipment of identifying or discounting the disease.
The Pink Caravan’s efforts have contributed to dispelling misconceptions surrounding breast cancer, and encouraging thousands of women and men from across the UAE to be part of early detection examinations. It has also contributed to breaking down the barriers of fear and embarrassment in many people, making breast cancer a community concern engaging all segments of society to participate effectively in combatting its prevalence.
This year’s Pink Caravan Ride coincides with the ‘Year of Zayed’, which was declared to mark 100 years since the birth of the country’s Founding Father and highlight his humanitarian legacy as he considered wellbeing and quality of life as two of the cornerstones of progress. It also draws on health strategies adopted by the UAE since its formation to provide awareness, prevention and protection to ensure the health and happiness of its citizens and provide them with the means to live their lives positively.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher said: “This humanitarian initiative based on volunteering and community responsibility has contributed to dispersing the myths of cancer from hundreds of thousands of citizens and residents, protecting their lives and giving them peace of mind in the process. The Pink Caravan has reached an enormous amount of people living in the UAE and is at the forefront of one of the most successful drives in combatting breast cancer.”
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi noted that the Pink Caravan will continue its efforts and spread the message of awareness about breast cancer and correcting misconceptions surrounding it. “Breast cancer is still threatening the lives of many people, and this year we will intensify our efforts even further to reach every citizen and resident in the UAE. We will continue to provide free medical check-ups and help patients, not only during the seven-day nationwide tour, but throughout the year,” Sheikha Jawaher added.
Her Highness called on the civil community, private and public sectors to participate in the ride and make every possible effort to continue its success. Sheikha Jawaher underlined that the Pink Caravan Ride does not only serve today’s society but also future generations who will become more aware of the risks of breast cancer.
Over the past seven years, the Pink Caravan has travelled 1,640 kilometres across the seven emirates with the participation of more than 490 riders and 700 volunteers who worked for more than 200,000 volunteering hours – the equivalent of 23 years of non-stop work. The Pink Caravan has also conducted lectures and workshops in 87 schools and provided free clinical examinations to 48,874 Emiratis and residents, including 9,643 men.
Breast cancer can affect men and women of all ages. It is one of the most common cancers affecting women, representing around one in four new cases globally. Early stages of breast cancer are preventable and treatable with a curable rate of up to 98%. More than 1.1 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually, with 410,000 dying of the disease.