First meeting and approves organisational structure
The Pink Caravan, the pan-UAE breast cancer awareness initiative by the Friends of Cancer Patients charity (FoCP), announced that 29,000 women and men of all ages and nationalities across the country were offered free early breast cancer detection screenings over the past four years.
The announcement was made during the first meeting of the Higher Steering Committee of the Pink Caravan Ride 2015, which was held at the Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, and Founder and Royal Patron of FoCP, in the presence of HE Ameera BinKaram; President of Board of Trustees and a founding member of FoCP, Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi, Secretary General of FoCP and Mr Mohammed Jumaa Al Musharekh, Board Member Friends of FoCP and the members of the Ride's Higher Steering Committee. The meeting confirmed the final organisational structure of the 5th edition of the Pink Caravan Ride along with names of sub-committees.
BinKaram welcomed the heads and members of the subcommittees and praised their efforts throughout the preceding years. She said, "it gives us great pleasure to review the achievements of The Pink Caravan over the past four years, which have contributed to dispelling the myth about breast cancer, and encouraged thousands of women and men to undergo early detection examinations. BinKaram pointed out that the UAE has become one of the leading countries in fighting breast cancer and reducing the burden of cancer.
BinKaram added; "Due to the great support and continuous guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, The Pink Caravan has managed to raise awareness about breast cancer and has offered free screenings to 29,000 women and men who underwent early breast cancer detection examinations, which contribute to raising the survival rates up to 98%,".
Binkaram stressed that "The Pink Caravan's achievements would not have been possible without the vision and support of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and his wife, to ensure the health and safety of citizens and residents; a noble goal that is in line with the vision of the UAE's leadership. These accomplishments are also due to the immense support extended by UAE leaders, prominent figures and community members."
BinKaram underlined the directives of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi that entail boosting efforts this year to extend the scope of audience from Emirati citizens to expatriate residents and engage institutions and individuals to convey the message of the Pink Caravan and achieve its goals comprising raising awareness and offering regular screenings to everyone throughout the year.
The meeting discussed The Pink Caravan's milestone achievements over the past four years. To date, The Pink Caravan has provided free breast cancer screenings to 22,418 women and 6,531 men of all nationalities across the UAE, including 10,082 Emirati women and men, and 18,867 expatriate residents. It has also managed to organise 585 awareness activations as well as donation campaigns and charity auctions. Throughout the last four years, the examinations resulted in discovering 22 breast cancer cases that were all monitored by the Friends of Cancer Patients charity.
The Pink Caravan had previously selected a number of ambassadors to promote the initiative, with Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum being the first Royal Ambassador in addition to a number of Sheikhs and prominent figures. In this regard, Sheikha Hessa bint Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the most recent ambassador, who was selected last year during the 4th Pink Caravan Ride in recognition of her outstanding efforts to support the initiative and her generous contribution in the humanitarian field. It is worth mentioning that The Pink Caravan also took part in the 2014 World Cancer Congress, which took place in Melbourne, Australia, and hosted delegations from 115 countries.
At the end of the meeting, HE Ameera BinKaram approved the organisational structure of the 5th Pink Caravan Ride – set to commence in the first quarter of this year – the names and missions of the committees, and the names of committee heads. In conclusion, she stressed the importance of teamwork to reach to optimal results. The map of the 2015 Ride was distributed as well as the calendar for each emirate, for a total duration of 10 days.
Since its inception in 2011, The Pink Caravan has been raising awareness about the importance of the early detection of breast cancer, as well as highlighting the impact of this disease across the UAE. The Pink Caravan's efforts have contributed to dispelling misconceptions and myths related to breast cancer, and providing financial and emotional support to patients and their families. The Pink Caravan Ride also played a significant role in minimising the incidence of breast cancer through free screenings offered across the UAE, thereby helping save the lives of citizens and residents.