Sharjah: The annual Pink Caravan Ride (PCR), now in its 10th year, is aiming to provide at least 10,000 free medical examinations for early detection of breast cancer during its 10-day run that will begin on February 26.
Over 350 doctors will be available for consultations at 70 fixed and mobile clinics, while 150 riders will join them in spreading awareness about breast cancer, announced Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP), the Sharjah-based civil society organisation that runs Pink Caravan, during a Press briefing on Wednesday.
According to the organisers, around 8,0000 breast-cancer screenings were conducted last year with 15 people detected having cancer and given corresponding medical treatment.
Overall, in the past nine years, the PCR campaign has offered free early-detection screenings to over 64,012 people of different nationalities and ages, including around 10,000 male residents. The total cost of free screenings was over Dh 30 million while around 670 volunteer riders have traveled over 1,800 kilometres so far, FoCP noted.
The theme for this year’s ride is “Plenty is Not Enough”. Reem BinKaram, head of Pink Caravan’s Higher Organising Committee, explained: “The slogan serves to remind us that as long as there is even one individual in the community who needs care and attention, then plenty is not enough.”
BinKaram said: “Since the beginning of this ride (in 2011), we have witnessed an annual growth in the number of participating volunteers and medical professionals, and in the responsiveness of official and community bodies, which has grown the PCR into what it is today.”
“We have been able to foster a sense of togetherness and enabled the creation of an environment where cancer-related issues are a part of public policy, openly and comfortably discussed, and a part of the national agenda,” she added.
Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, director general of FoCP and head of the Pink Caravan Ride Medical and Awareness Committee; explained: “The PCR has turned into a huge volunteer campaign, in line with the global need to combat breast cancer. It is also an expression of the culture of cooperation, partnership and volunteering work”.
Caravan route and clinics
The 10th Pink Caravan Ride will kick off in Sharjah on February 26, where it will stop at 10 locations, before moving to Dubai on February 28. The next stop will be in Fujairah and Khorfakkan, then Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman before concluding in Abu Dhabi on March 6.
Aside from the mobile clinics available during the ride, there are fixed clinics across the UAE that will begin functioning prior to the start of the caravan.
In Sharjah, a fixed clinic will be available at Al Majaz Waterfront from February 16 to March 6 (open from 4-10pm).
In Dubai, a fixed clinic will function from February 7 – February 10 (4-10pm) at City Walk; then February 26 to March 6 at Dubai Festival City (4-10pm)
The fixed clinic in Fujairah will be available from February 16 to March 6 at Fujairah Mall (4-10pm) and Manar Mall while Umm Al Quwain’s fixed clinic will be available from February 16 to March 6 at the Mall of Umm Al Quwain (4-10pm).
The fixed clinic in Ajman will function at the Al Hamidiya Park from February 16 to March 6 (4-10pm) and in Abu Dhabi, a fixed clinic will be available from February 26 to March 6 at The Galleria(4-10pm)
For more details of the Pink Caravan Ride and schedule of mobile clinics, please check www.pinkcaravan.ae.
350 doctors; 150 riders will volunteer at over 70 fixed and mobile clinics for the 10th Pink Caravan Ride
Over 100 medical volunteers will assist in offering free checkups and screenings between Feb 16, March 26
64,012 free examinations were conducted since 2011, costing over Dh30 million
670 volunteer riders have traveled over 1,800 kilometres since start of campaign in 2011