- Second edition of Zulekha Hospital’s colorectal cancer campaign reinforces need for dialogue and openness to help treat the disease
The ‘Screen and Survive’ initiative, launched by Zulekha Hospital today at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai, brought together like-minded doctors and professionals to increase the awareness of early screening and detection of colorectal cancer.
In line with the UAE’s 2021 goal of reducing cancer cases by 18% and supporting the government’s Year of Giving 2017, the second edition of the UAE awareness campaign plans to build on last year’s success, widening the open discussion on the prevention of the disease.
The event’s ambassadors, Dr Adil Daud, Professor, Oncology Director from the University of California and Dr Robert Warren, Professor of Surgery, Surgical Oncology at the University of California were joined by Dr. Muna Al Kuwari, Director of Specialised Healthcare Department, Hospital Sector, Dr. Suad Hashim Ahmed – Head of Unit & Consultant, Dubai Health Authority and a host of like-minded professionals who shared their keen insight on the incidence of the disease in UAE, detection and management of the same.
Among the speakers, guest of honour, Dr. Muna Al Kuwari, Director of Specialised Healthcare Department Hospital Sector, said: “The Ministry of Health encourages the public and private sector healthcare institutions to take such initiatives that aim at making a difference to our communities in UAE and promote early detection and prevention of deadly diseases. We all need to join hands and take the message forward to make a bigger difference. Our best wishes to Zulekha Hospital team in their endeavour to save lives.”
Zanubia Shams, Co-Chairperson of Zulekha Hospitals, said: “Last year, we set out to break the taboos of talking about colorectal cancer, raising awareness of the disease and encouraging men and women to get screened early on to prevent it.
“We had a positive response in 2016; however, colon cancer remains the second most common and fatal cancer in the UAE. And as such, it is imperative that we continue to spread awareness through these healthcare campaigns as they ultimately save lives.
“According to new guidance introduced by the World Health Organisation, public awareness is a necessary step to help detect cancer earlier and make sure patients have access to better and cheaper treatment. This new campaign is our way to reach the local community and urge them to get screened.”
Last year, the initiative successfully screened 148 participants detecting six positive results with a number of those staying on for treatment at Zulekha Hospital. This year, from now until 20th April, the Dubai and Sharjah hospitals will offer complimentary screenings for registered participants.
“Every year 8.8million people die from cancer and a lot of these deaths could have been avoided if the right steps were taken early on,” said Taher Shams, Managing Director of Zulekha Hospitals. “With the proper education as well as the access to safe and effective treatment, we can catch the disease before it advances, potentially becoming fatal.
“Improving equipment and staff in order to conduct accurate and timely diagnoses, as well as ensuring patients already living with cancer have complete access to effective treatment is a vital part in combating the disease and preventing it advancing further.”