Dubai: Zulekha Healthcare Group has been striving to raise awareness on the early detection and prevention of cervical cancer among women in the UAE, with regular screenings and vaccination. When the campaign was first launched in 2014 it has proved highly effective with 282 women attending the free screening program and this has grown rapidly to 7000 attendees taking up the screening over the last nine years at both hospitals. This year once again the campaign is open for a month starting 3 June 2023 and allows access to free screening and gynecology consultations for women at the hospital facilities in Dubai and Sharjah.
The campaign launch was done in Dubai over a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Sharon Mendoza - Assistant Professor, Skyline University College, Sharjah and included insights from clinicians of the hospitals and trendsetters supporting the cause. Speaking on the panel were doctors from Zulekha Hospital Dubai and Sharjah including Dr. Laxmi Yaliwal, Specialist Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Bushra Khan, Specialist Obstetrics & Gynecology, Dr. Keerthi Banavara Ravi, Consultant Surgical Oncologist, and Dr. Anwar Sami Mohsin Ali, Consultant Medical Oncology. Dr. Maya AlHawary, Director of Planning & Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dubai Carmel School and First Emirati PHD Holder in Smart Leadership in MENA spoke on the significance of educating the communities on early detection and prevention of the disease. H.E Juma Madani, Chairman and CEO of Al Matiya Group also joined the campaign launch with his management team.
Zulekha Hospital Co-Chairperson, Zanubia Shams, said: “We continue to encourage more and more people to be aware and would like to see many women come forward to take up the free checks this year again. We are always keen to support the nation’s objective of better health for all and have been playing an important role over many years in cancer prevention in UAE. No one deserves to die of cervical cancer as it can be caught and cured early. Let’s join hands and raise this awareness alongside vaccinating our younger boys and girls in time.”
WHO has set a cervical cancer elimination strategy target to have 90% of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15 and 70% of women screened with a high-performance test by 35 years of age and again by 45 years of age.
United Arab Emirates has a population of 2.18 million women ages 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Current estimates indicate that every year 123 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 59 die from the disease. 3 in 10 women have been screened for cervical cancer over the previous five years. Speaking of the vaccination cover among girls, 2 in 10 in the primary target cohort which is 13 years of age in 2020 has received their final HPV vaccination dose.
The ‘Chance to Change’ campaign is supported by advocating partner Friends of Cancer Patients, a charity organization extensively supporting cancer patients in UAE.
Eligible women can take the tests at the hospitals by appointments. To register for the screening, one can call 600524442 or visit zulekhahospitals.com/change
About Zulekha Healthcare Group: www.zulekhahospitals.com
Zulekha Healthcare Group is a Superbrand among the forerunners in UAE healthcare. Today the Group includes two multidisciplinary hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah, as well as UAE medical centers and pharmacies providing specialized services and treatments in over 30 disciplines. The Group has a multidisciplinary Hospital in India - Alexis. Zulekha Hospital has received extensive recognition for its commitment towards quality care and sustainable business practices, and received the prestigious Dubai Quality Award as well, underling a commitment to providing high quality healthcare to patients and society.
Sameena Khanam – Deputy Director Brand & Corporate Communications