SHARJAH, 4th February, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the 11th edition of the Pink Caravan Ride (PCR), which kicked off from Al Heera Beach, Sharjah, on Saturday.
Coinciding with World Cancer Day, the annual awareness campaign, organised by the Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) under the theme ‘Powered by You’, will travel across the seven emirates between 4th and 10th February offering free screenings and raising awareness on breast cancer and the importance of early detection to tackle the disease.
The PCR marked the annual awareness campaign with the release of a collaborative research study titled “Measuring Breast Cancer Awareness Level in Sharjah,” conducted in partnership with NAMA Women Advancement. The study’s findings revealed that 55 percent of surveyed individuals possess sufficient understanding of self-examination for breast cancer, while 46 percent demonstrated awareness of general cancer symptoms. The data further indicated that 71 percent of respondents were less knowledgeable about the causative factors of cancer.
The study also revealed that 33 percent of the surveyed individuals perform a breast cancer self-examination on an annual basis. Furthermore, 86 percent of respondents reported that their participation in PCR has inspired them to embrace healthier lifestyles and broaden their understanding of breast cancer.
In her keynote speech, Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of FOCP Board of Directors, said, “At FOCP, we operate under a clear vision focused on assisting cancer patients and their families in overcoming challenges they face, and since our operations align with Sharjah’s developmental journey to translate the vision of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi and the directives of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, our responsibilities are huge to ensure the success of the emirate’s efforts.”
She also emphasised the FOCP’s ambitions transcend the association’s core pillars of advocacy, community awareness, and financial support for people with cancer. “We are adamant to making early detection a widely accepted cultural norm among the country’s citizens and residents. By achieving this goal, we would have yielded a major milestone in tackling the most prevalent cancers.”
For her part, Reem BinKaram, Chairperson of PCR High Steering Committee, said, “The annual nationwide awareness ride serves as a model of institutional efforts in promoting health awareness among community members, by highlighting the significance of early detection and the need for regular breast cancer examinations. This is no longer simply an annual occurrence, but rather, a cultural norm in the Emirati society whenever the pink flag is raised.”
During her address, BinKaram discussed numerous initiatives and efforts of the PCR, focusing on the positive outcomes of the research study conducted to assess the level of breast cancer awareness in Sharjah. She said, “I find it imperative that the PCR continues its efforts, as breast cancer not only has the potential to impact families, but also communities. On the other hand, it is reassuring to note that with early detection, the cure rate of this disease can reach up to 95 percent.”
During the opening ceremony, artist Fayez Al Saeed, performed a special song titled ‘Powered by You’ highlighting the PCR’s achievements.
After the inaugural ceremony, the horse riders saddled up launching the much-anticipated ride, led by Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, PCR Special Envoy. The PCR made several stops in the emirate, including Al Hisn in the Heart of Sharjah, before continuing their journey to Ajman at Thumbay Hospital, and concluding the inaugural day’s activity at Al Zorah Marina.
Throughout Day 1, residents flocked to get screened at Pink Caravan Mammogram Unit stationed at Al Heera Beach in Sharjah and Al Zoraa Marina in Ajman. Two Minivan clinics are also available at Ajman Thumbay Hospital and Al Heera Beach.
On Sunday, the ride will take place in Dubai, starting from DIFC Gate Avenue at 8:00, passing by Marasi Parking towards Skydive Dubai before reaching JBR at 12:30 and ending Day two activities in City Walk at 15:00.
Pink Caravan Mammogram clinics will be available at La Mer from 16:00-22:00, while the Daily Minivan Stops will be at Dubai Frame and City Walk between16:00-22:00 with an hour break at 15:00.