UAE hospital launches first ‘Phygital’ cervical cancer campaign

The virtual panel discussion organised by the Zulekha Health care Group. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Continuing the momentum of raising awareness on early detection and prevention of cancer, Zulekha Health care Group launched the eighth edition of its annual cervical cancer awareness campaign on June 14. Maintaining their connect with the communities, driving the message digitally, this year the event was hosted virtually fuelled by intelligent video technology driving the new ‘phygital’ experience for attendees.

Cervical cancer is the second leading cancer and seventh cause of fatality in women in UAE. Most of the cases of cervical cancer are not detected until they are in the late stages, when it is difficult to treat. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women and the third leading cause of deaths.

Regular screening key to prevention

Therefore, in order to increase early detection and prevention of cervical cancer among women in the UAE, it is crucial that women regularly undergo screenings. Zulekha Hospital’s campaign ‘Chance to Change’ aims to support communities through their free screening programme, which runs from June 14 till August 14. Eligible women can benefit from a complimentary consultation with gynaecologists and take a PAP smear test.

Vaccinate for prevention of cervical cancer

Dr Pamela Munster, Professor of Medicine, UCSF and Cause Ambassador joined the panel discussion virtually along with other specialists from Zulekha Hospital including Dr. Laxmi Yaliwal — Specialist Gynaecologist, Dr. Soha Abdelbaky — Consultant Medical Oncologist, Dr. Nidha Iqbal Shapoo — Specialist Medical Oncologist and Dr. Nora Sharafli — Specialist Gynaecologist.

Zanubia Shams, Co-Chairperson advised: “Many women have been missing and avoiding going to the hospital for their routine check-ups because of pandemic fright. As a health care provider, it’s our responsibility to educate them on the consequences when there are delays in diagnosing and treating such deadly ailments. We have practices and protocols in place to keep you safe and help expedite your medical needs.”

“We also recommend routine vaccine for girls and boys from 11-12 years age, it can be given as early as nine years and for older kids who aren’t yet vaccinated to get series of HPV vaccine shots: Children (ages 9—14) get the vaccine in 2 shots over a 0- to 6-month period. Teens and young adults (ages 15—26) get it in 3 shots over a 6-month period.” adds Dr. Jasbir G. Chhatwal, Specialist Obstetrics & Gynaecologist and HOD at Zulekha Hospital, Dubai.

Over 4,000 individuals, over the span of seven years, have undergone preventive screening for cervical cancer at Zulekha Hospital.