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Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi attends the launch of the third annual Pink Caravan pan-UAE horse ride

United Arab Emirates: Saturday, February 02 - 2013 @ 16:07

The state-of-the art breast cancer centre will soon be opened in cooperation with Justin Rosie French Hospital.

The announcement was made by His Highness Sheikh Sultan when he attended yesterday (Saturday) the start of the third annual Pink Caravan pan-UAE horse riding journey at the Sharjah Equestrian Club.

Every year the Pink Caravan Ride 2013, which is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Wife of Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, and Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable organization (FoCP), will trek across the seven emirates over a period of 10 days.

His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah highlighted the importance of early detection of breast cancer and urged all women to immediately undergo early detection screening to avoid this disease, pointing out that the percentage of recovery of breast cancer exceeds considerably recovery rates of other types of cancer.

“We call on UAE citizens and residents to cooperate with the Pink Caravan so as to achieve the required goal which is eradicating this disease, and hence first is raising awareness is a must and this is the key role of the Pink Caravan, and then diagnosing and offering treatment which is -thanks to God- available at all medical centres and hospitals,” Sheikh Sultan said.

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan concluded his talk with expressing his great hope that the next year would see promising and more positive results.

The launch ceremony was attended by Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade and member of the Board of Trustees and a founding member of the Friends of Cancer Patients, Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Public Works, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Majid Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Equestrian Club, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Thani, Director General of Sharjah Statistics Centre, and Sheikh Abdul Azizi Al Turki, Chairman of the Board of Director of the Gulf Federation of Cancer Control.

It was also attended by Mohammed Juma Bin Hindi, Speaker of Sharjah Consultative Council, US Ambassador to the UAE Michael Corbi, Australian Ambassador UAE Pablo Kang, Ahmed Mohammed Al Medfa, Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mohammed Abdullah, Chief Executive of Sharjah Islamic Bank, and Humaid Jafar, Board Chairman of Al Helal Group, as well as a number of officials, directors of government departments and representatives of local and Arab media.

The Pink Caravan is pan-UAE breast cancer awareness and screening campaign and an initiative of the Friends of Cancer Patients charity organisation (FoCP).

The Pink Caravan’s riders started from Sharjah Equestrian Club heading to Al Dhaid city in the emirate of Sharjah to complete 32 kilometres on the first day of the trek. On the second day (Sunday) they will leave Al Dhaid to Masafi in the emirate of Fujairah. The caravan will be accompanied by mobile clinics and qualified medical team to provide free breast cancer detection screening, raise awareness about breast cancer and demonstrate methods of self- examination. Clinics were set up at Kalba Hospital and Al Maliha Medical Centre during the first day and will be at Masafi Hospital, Dibba Al Fujairah Medical Centre and Al Dhaid Hospital, in the second day (Sunday).

During the launch ceremony, His Highness visited Pink Caravan’s Golden Hands Gallery and met the Pink Caravan’s ambassadors and sponsors who have significantly contributed to the initiative’s success and achievements by offering financial, moral and social support.

His Highness met a UAE female patient who has been diagnosed with breast cancer during last year Pink Caravan’s journey and is receiving the treatment under the support of Friends of Cancer Patients charitable organization.

During the launch, HE Ameera Bin Karam, President of the Board of Trustees and a Founding Member of the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable organisation (FoCP), addressed the media and other attendees, presenting the Pink Caravan’s milestones and achievements in 2012 and its objectives for 2013,

In his speech on the occasion, HE Mohammad Abdullah, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB), Partner and Main Sponsor of the Pink Caravan, commended the Pink Caravan’s responsible role and great results. He said: “Day after day, the UAE is proving its position as the country of humanity, a country that supports human rights and patrons every initiative that calls for human development and for respecting humanity, in response to the honor of Allah to human beings, who are preferred to Allah than other whom Allah created.”

“As we witness the launch of the 3rd Pink Caravan, we at the Sharjah Islamic Bank, management and employees, are pleased and honored to be part of this significant project and to help achieve the objectives of making this country free of disease, by collective efforts of its people, generous support of its leaders and dedication of Pink Caravan’s team”, he added.

Mr. Jack Komin, Chairman of Boston based Hologic, the largest provider of 3D mammography system in the world, presented the system and briefed attendees on the future of early cancer detection. Lize De Jonges, Pink Caravan Project Manager, presented the electronic register of Pink Caravan which was designed by the organizing committee. The register includes names and information about all participants in Pink Caravan’s medical examinations.

Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Department of Public Works, and one of the Pink Caravans’ ambassadors, delivered a speech on behalf of the other ambassadors, in which he clarified the role played by the ambassadors and highlighted the importance of family participations in the journey, saying that he strongly recommended this participation to his family. He lauded the responsible social role of volunteers and officials in this noble campaign.

Lammtara Pictures screened its animated cartoons (Freej) about the Pink Caravan and the importance of early detection for breast cancer. The film was followed by horse show by Hoof Beats Stables.

On the launch of the Ride, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al-Qasimi said, “It is with great pride that I witness the start of Pink Caravan’s third ride.But what makes me happier this year is the immense community interaction and response to this initiative, which became closer to all of us and every one –who strongly believes in it as if it is his own initiative-and this is what we hoped when we established the Friends of Cancer Patients more than 12 years ago. Today, we see men before women work dedicatedly to fight this disease and participate in awareness and detection campaigns throughout the year.”

She added “What makes us continue such kind of initiatives is the outcomes by the medical team which work throughout the year to offer free medical examinations to Emirati citizens and residents. Of course, as the number of partners of this initiative increases the results will be better, and therefore I wish that this campaign and all campaigns by the Friends of Cancer Patients will succeed in attracting the largest possible number of partners to fight this disease together and help alleviate the suffering of patients. We hope that the day will come on which that cancer will be just a thing of the past, as the case with other diseases in the near past.”

He Highness said: “Over the past two years the initiatives dedicated team and volunteers have made a tangible impact on breast cancer in the UAE with thousands of women and men being educated and screened. The third annual ride commences this year with the same overriding objectives, but with a renewed focus – to dispel the myths surrounding breast cancer in the UAE. Without access to accurate information about the topic, a lot of the beliefs regarding breast cancer have the disease shrouded in social taboo, leaving people feeling unable to talk about it. With 95% of breast cancer cases curable upon early detection, disseminating this information and promoting awareness across the breadth of the UAE is of key importance.”

Her Highness added that the Pink Caravan is aiming, this year, to achieve over 5,000 quality screenings through their accompanying mobile mammography unit and the participating medical centres during the 10 days of the Ride.

These screening are of strategic importance, as each screening brings them closer to the creation of a unified national cancer registry, which will ultimately be accessible to all doctors and nurses in the UAE.

The initiative also aims to raise Dh15 million to purchase and operate a state-of-the-art 3D mobile mammography unit that will be used for free breast cancer screening in the UAE.

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Saturday, February 2- 2013 @ 16:07 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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