Pink Caravan riders parade during a press briefing at Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah on Monday. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Sharjah: The Pink Caravan Ride has this year launched a permanent mobile mammography clinic that will conduct free breast cancer screenings and cervical cancer tests throughout the year, organisers said on Monday.

The eighth edition of the Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) campaign that seeks to combat breast cancer begins in Sharjah on February 28 and ends in Abu Dhabi on March 6.

The campaign, which will this year span seven days instead of 11, will include a Pink Walk, Pink Bite, Pink Strides and Pink Regatta.

For the first time, the seven-day ride, which will cover one emirate every day, will be accompanied by a mobile mammography unit equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostics equipment to conduct both breast and cervical cancer tests.

Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, director-general of FoCP and head of the Pink Caravan Ride Medical and Awareness Committee, said this year’s campaign aims to reach 8,000 men and women through three types of clinics.

“In total, we have more than 30 clinics operating as part of the campaign. There will be one fixed clinic in each emirate, which will continue to offer medical services for 12 days. We also have the special mobile medical clinic accompanying the riders and the mobile medical team working in more than four medical clinics everyday. One clinic will be dedicated for male screenings,” she told Gulf News.

The clinics will operate from 10am to 6pm.

On the permanent mobile mammography clinic, Dr Al Madhi said that “this is the first unit in the world offering a comprehensive package of medical services for women, including clinical breast cancer examination and cervical screening test [Smear], which is the first test to be added to a mobile medical unit globally”.

The clinic will provide 3D mammographic screening and diagnostic breast imaging.

“We also wanted to give more value for women and make it more beneficial by providing a range of other medical tests at the clinic including checking blood sugar levels, blood pressure, osteoporosis and height and weight measurement,” she added.

Last year alone, out of 7,000 men and women that were screened and 12 people were diagnosed with breast cancer, according to Al Madhi. “2017 saw the highest number of cases since the launch of the campaign. Since launched, we have reached 45 cases including one man with the disease.”

Meanwhile, Reem Bin Karam, head of the Pink Caravan’s Higher Organising Committee, spoke about the journey of the Pink Caravan Ride and milestones achieved since it launched in 2011.

“Through its 1,640km journey across the seven emirates in the past seven years, the Pink Caravan Ride has offered medical check-ups worth Dh24 million to 48,874 persons, including 32,093 expatriate residents and 16,781 citizens through 578 fixed and mobile clinics,” she said.

Find out more about the Pink Caravan, The Pink Caravan Ride and more details about the new Mobile Mammography Clinic.

Pink Caravan Ride: February 28-March 6

Screening timings: 10am to 6pm

Day 1: Sharjah

Mobile clinics: Kuwait Hospital, Al Dhaid Hospital, Directorate of Punitive and Correctional Institutions and Al Qarain Health Centre

Fixed: Al Majaz Waterfront

Day 2: Fujairah

Mobile clinics: Masafi Hospital, Fujairah Hospital (for men), CosmeSurge and Emirates Hospitals Clinics

Fixed: Fujairah Corniche

Day 3: Dubai

Mobile clinics: Al Qudra Lakes, Ibn Battuta Mall and Zabeel Park (for men)

Fixed: Dubai Mall

Day 4: Ras Al Khaimah

Mobile clinics: Abdullah Bin Omran Hospital, Al Jeer Health Centre and Ras Al Khaimah Hospital

Fixed: Al Qawasim Corniche

Day 5: Umm Al Quwain

Mobile clinics: Salama Health Centre, Falaj Al Mualla Health Centre and Umm Al Quwain Hospital

Fixed: Shaikh Khalifa General Hospital

Day 6: Ajman

Mobile clinics: University College of Mother and Family Sciences, Umm Al Moumineen Women’s Association, Al Hamidiya Health Centre and Mushrif Health Centre

Fixed: Ajman Corniche

Day 7: Abu Dhabi

Mobile clinics: Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Zayed University and Zayed Military Hospital

Fixed: Al Seef Village