Mafraq Hospital’s Ana Rosa women’s health education and screening initiative, launched in 2012, is conducting a breast screening drive in Abu Dhabi in partnership with Zayed University’s ‘Ba9ma Club’.
October is breast cancer awareness month worldwide and Mafraq Hospital, owned and operated by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), is playing its part. Dr. Rola Shaheen, Acting Chair of Radiology and Chief of Women’s Imaging atMafraq Hospital, said, “Mafraq Hospital is committed to developing initiatives that have the potential to save hundreds and thousands of lives. Breast cancer, the second leading cause of death in females in Abu Dhabi, is the main focus for the hospital and the Ana Rosa women health care programme this month.”
Meaning ‘I am Rose’ in Arabic, the Ana Rosa initiative was launched to increase women’s access to screening procedures and educate on preventative measures for staying healthy. While breast cancer is a key topic addressed by the programme, it also offers information on cervical cancer and other important health information targeted exclusively towards women.
Breast cancer accounts for 17.5% of all cancer cases in the UAE and is one of the most common cancers in women. It is also one of the most treatable, especially if diagnosed early. “We know early detection of breast cancer can save lives, as the earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the chance of successful treatment. While educating women is one tool, we believe that a solid combination of educational programmes, regular clinical screening and self-examinations are essential to early detection”, added Dr. Shaheen.
A survey conducted to measure the success of Mafraq Hospital’s previous breast cancer screening campaigns showed 89% satisfaction levels from women who have learnt how to take preventive measures. 89% of the respondents found the handout resource material to be useful, while 91% believed that increasing the number of breast care campaigns would be more helpful in raising awareness.
As part of Ana Rosa’s breast screening roadshow during October, a team of specialized female nurses and experts are available every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at a special booth set up at Mafraq Hospital for screening women and educating on self-examination. Volunteers from Ba9ma Club will assist with handing out informative brochures at the hospital three days a week, as well as host Mafraq Hospital’s breast screening team at Zayed University’s Breast Cancer Awareness event from 22-24 October.
Dr.Shaheen added, “The young all-girls team from Zayed University’s Ba9ma Club has volunteered to participate in our efforts in spreading our message on breast health among women in the UAE. It serves as a great example of the contribution that this nation’s youth can make in helping create awareness to fight the disease.”
Ana Rosa is one of many breast cancer and women’s health initiatives led by Mafraq Hospital. Working in collaboration with other SEHA hospitals and Harvard Global Equity Initiative, Mafraq Hospital recently organized the third Global Breast Health lecture series where more than 100 healthcare professionals gathered to exchange ideas and present research on the topic. The hospital also has a state of the art a multi disciplinary breast imaging center.