Free breast cancer examinations were given to 652 members of the public in Sharjah and Al Dhaid cities during the first day of the Pink Caravan Ride launched on Monday, among them were 198 men. The ride aims to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.
Mobile clinics set up at three locations: Al Qasimi Hospital, the Reformative and Punitive Establishments in Sharjah and Al Dhaid Hospital, which witnessed a huge turnout by women and men of all ages and nationalities. Employees and medical staff at Al Dhaid Hospital dressed in pink in a show of solidarity for the Pink Caravan and welcomed the riders warmly. A number of workshops and self-examination lessons were given, in addition to ultra-sound and mammogram screenings for some cases.
Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi, Secretary General of FoCP and Head of the Pink Caravan’s Medical Committee, said, "We are extremely pleased with the big turnout by men and women to undergo examinations on the first day of the Pink Caravan Ride. We have noticed a growing response by broader community segments to benefit from our medical and awareness-raising services provided by volunteer medical staff. What we have seen today makes us proud and more determined to continue and expand our scope of activities."
Dr. Al Madhi added that the mobile clinics now offer more medical services, including free eye tests. "This year we have 27 doctors, 18 of which are Emirati, 57 nurses and eight health counselors who will be deployed in 30 locations throughout the UAE. This year we also benefited from 18 hospitals and clinics and 12 medical centers joining us, thus allowing the Pink Caravan ride to receive more people and give them even better care."
The Pink Caravan captured the attention of social media users on its first day and followers in the UAE shared their views and comments via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social networking displayed overwhelming support as community members were encouraged to contribute to and interact by donating through SMS messages, using the Pink Caravan's hashtag, #aPinkThankYou, in appreciation for supporters.
The Pink Caravan Ride 2015 has the support of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society, and International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC.
On Wednesday The Pink Caravan will continue its journey from City Centre Fujairah at 10:00 am, heading to Khorfakkan where it will arrive at Oceanic Khorfakkan Resort at 6:00 pm after travelling 40.5km. Mobile clinics will receive visitors from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm in selected locations in each emirate and will be available today at Al Thamid Clinics in Sharjah, Fujairah Hospital and Khorfakkan Hospital. With over 150 well-trained riders, the Pink Caravan Ride will pass through all seven emirates, and wrap up in Abu Dhabi on March 25.
The Pink Caravan is the first initiative that falls under the umbrella of the 'KASHF' programme, which is dedicated to providing information and guidance to facilitate the early detection of many types of cancer, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate, melanoma, and colon cancer. The initiative aims to raise awareness about breast cancer and screening methods, lobby for the creation of the first UAE National Cancer Registry, and raise sufficient funds to purchase and operate a state-of-the-art mobile mammography unit to offer free breast cancer screenings.