SHARJAH, The opening ceremony of the ninth annual edition of the Pink Caravan Breast Cancer Awareness Ride will be held on Saturday, February 23, at the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club. On the first day of the campaign, the pink brigade will be covering Sharjah, riding through Coral Beach Resort and Souq Al Jubail to finally end the day's ride at Al Majaz Waterfront at 5:15pm, tracking 39 kilometres.

Representing the pan-UAE breast cancer awareness initiative, more than 150 volunteering equines will take Pink Caravan's traveling convoy through the seven emirates from February 23 � March 1, highlighting the importance of early detection through regular self-examination and medical screenings. The campaign targets 9,000 beneficiaries this year.

During the opening ceremony, PCR's Higher Steering Committee will organise a panel discussion 'Breast Cancer Control: Why Civil Society Mobilisation Matters'. Moderated by Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, Director General of FOCP and Head of the PCR Medical and Awareness Committee, the panel will feature representatives of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, Eastern Mediterranean Non-communicable Disease Alliance,EMNCDA,, Ministry of Health and Prevention,MoHAP, and a breast cancer survivor, who will discuss why an inclusive societal movement that serves to educate, raise awareness, engage and advocate for improvements in breast cancer control is necessary, and suggest ways to better integrate the role of all heath stakeholders in society to further the objective.

More than 30 mobile medical clinics across the country and seven fixed clinics (one in each emirate) will be offering free check-ups and screenings to women and men throughout the duration of the campaign. On day 1, when PCR maps its equine awareness route through Sharjah, medical clinics will be simultaneously operational in three locations: Sahara Centre, Mega Mall and Sharjah National Park. A clinic will be set up exclusively for males at the Jubail Market.

For the first time in its history, the Pink Caravan Ride will provide genetic testing to make treatment more effective for positive cases of malignancy. Earlier this month when the details of the ride were announced at a press conference, Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi emphasised upon the importance of this new feature, saying it will go a long way in making breast cancer treatment in the UAE more effective.

Another new feature of PCR 2019 is a mini mobile clinic on the ride's equine route, which will travel the seven emirates with the campaign's equestrian volunteers, offering additional awareness lectures by medical experts, self-examination workshops, as well as preliminary manual checkups to support the services that will be offered by medical teams dedicated to each emirate, and maximise the campaign's community outreach efforts.

In addition to the mainstream activities of the Pink Caravan Ride 2019, a series of family-focused awareness events will be organised in the emirates. These will be organised at the Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, in the corniche areas of Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman, and in Dubai Design District.

Over the past eight years, the PCR has made landmark achievements, foremost of which offering free early-detection examinations to more than 56,000 people and diagnosed 61 cases, all of whom have been offered free treatment by FOCP.

Source: Emirates News Agency