Sharjah: The Pink Caravan Ride screened more than 700 women and men for breast cancer on the fourth day of the campaign in Ras Al Khaimah, registering the second highest number of people examined in the current edition.
The Pink Caravan Medical Awareness Committee on Sunday said a total of 739 total screenings have been done over the last four days, including 593 women and 146 men.
Expatriates made for the big majority of people screened at 590 besides 149 nationals. Some 247 of the residents screened were above 40 years of age while the rest were younger.
After the initial screenings, 411 people who were referred for walk-in checks were given the all-clear, 304 were referred for mammograms, and 24 were advised to undergo ultrasound screening.
The campaign has so far screened a total of 2,815 people since it kicked off last week. The highest number of screenings within one day so far has been 744 people.
Ten volunteer riders saddled up on thoroughbred horses began the day of campaigning at the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development (RAK-DED) along with several volunteers who marched alongside the campaign and interacted with citizens and residents in the emirate who came forward to know more about the unique pink brigade.
The riders covered 12.2 kilometres on their horses stopping at Saqr Hospital and finally ending their ride at Al Qawasim Corniche. Three medical clinics were set up to offer free screenings and expert consultations to people at the Abdullah Bin Omran Hospital, Al Jeer Health Centre and Ras Al Khaimah Hospital.
Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, Director General of Friends of Cancer Patients and Head of Medical and Awareness Committee of Pink Caravan, said Ras Al Khaimah has always been a delightful stop for the campaign each year.
“From a medical point of view, there is a lot of demand for screenings here. We have the fixed clinic here at the Al Qawasim Corniche, which is operational until March 10, which has been bolstered this year with the provision of the mobile mammogram clinic that is providing state-of-the-art early detection screenings to whoever comes forward for a checkup,” Dr Al Madhi said.
Dr Al Madhi said the fixed clinics have helped them reach out to numerous women and even men beyond the one day of campaigning that they have dedicated to each emirate.
“No matter where the campaign goes, these outposts will continue to provide free check-ups until next week. Those who haven’t undergone their free screening yet, I urge them to take a positive and courageous step towards their long-term well-being,” she said.
One of the equestrian volunteers, Anna Mirska Perry, who moved to the UAE just a few months ago, said her decision to join the ride was a personal one after being diagnosed with breast cancer in June last year.
“I was diagnosed when I was living in Mumbai and of course I was terrified. I thought, why me? Just as many other women who are diagnosed would feel the same way. I got a second opinion in France and eventually underwent surgery there last September,” she said.
Perry has been on a hormonal treatment since, which makes her unusually tired. But that’s not stopping her from riding and pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle to keep cancer at bay while at the same time contributing to a good cause while doing what she loves.
Meanwhile, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Kayed Al Qasimi, the Head of RAK-DED, undertook a tour of the Dh15-million mobile medical clinic accompanying the Pink Caravan and commended the efforts of the campaign to spread awareness and make health-care services in the nation more effective and accessible to people.
Next stop (Monday, March 5): Ajman
Riders will head to Rashidiya Park for Families and Children and cover 6.8 km on horseback with two stops at Ajman Municipality and the Ajman Corniche.
Free screenings: University College of Mother and Family Sciences, Umm Al Moumineen Women’s Association, Al Hamidiya Health Centre and Musheirif Health Centre, from 10am until 6pm.