Participants during the launch of the third annual 2013 Pink Caravan at Moltaqa Al Qasba, Sharjah Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News

Sharjah: Bigger plans and targets were revealed yesterday for the third annual ‘Pink Caravan Ride 2013’ which will be held from February 2-12 to coincide with World Cancer Day on February 4.

Pink Caravan which is a pan-UAE Breast Cancer Awareness and Screening Campaign and an initiative of the Friends of Cancer Patients charity organisation (FoCP) was initiated in 2011 to specifically raise awareness about breast cancer and encourage women and men to get examined regularly.

This year the Pink Caravan Ride 2013, which is held under the patronage of Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, aims to spread awareness and dispel myths about breast cancer in accordance with the message of the World Cancer Day.

“The target for this year’s ride is to complete 5,000 quality screens across the UAE, adding to our current total of 16,776 men and women in the past two years alone. Eleven patients who were found to be positive cases are being supported by the Friends of Cancer Patients charity (FoCP),” said Ameera Bin Karam, president of the board of trustees and a founding member of Friends of Cancer Patients.

Pink Caravan Ride 2013 will cover 323 km during its 10-day journey across the seven emirates. It will start off in Sharjah on February 2 with more than 150 horse riders and will conclude in Abu Dhabi on the 12th.

Medical professionals participating in the campaign will demonstrate how to perform monthly self-examinations and will perform ‘clinical examinations’ for patients who are 20 and above, besides providing free consultations and free mammograms where possible. Activists will also distribute educational brochures. The programme offers free services to both UAE nationals and non-nationals with a valid residency visa.

The initiative also aims to raise Dh15 million to purchase and operate a state-of-the-art mobile mammography unit and establish a centralised cancer registry in the UAE as currently there is no unified cancer registry in the UAE.

The campaign can be followed on twitter with the hashtag #TPCUAE and by downloading The Pink Caravan Application.

 

— Noor Nazzal is a trainee at Gulf News