Pioneering cancer campaign launched by Zulekha Hospital to help educate UAE residents



Zulekha Hospital has launched a new health awareness campaign to challenge the taboos and embarrassment surrounding colorectal (colon) cancer and to help save lives across the UAE.


In line with the UAE government aim to cut cancer fatalities by 18 percent by 2021, in association with the Ministry of Health (MOH), Zulekha Hospital has developed the ‘Watch Your Back’ campaign to stress the importance of regular checks for early detection and to educate the wider public about the screening process that can eliminate the disease.


The first of its kind campaign was launched with cancer experts and campaigners who highlighted the need for urgent action as colon cancer is the second most common and fatal cancer in the UAE, according to statistics published by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).


Zanubia Shams, Co-Chairperson of Zulekha Hospitals, said that awareness campaigns are the most effective way of removing taboos surrounding various diseases and ensuring all people at risk are aware of prevention and treatment opportunities.


Dr Adil Daud, Professor, one of the two campaign ambassadors from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and its Melanoma Program Haematology-Oncology Director, said that such public awareness campaigns are vital for disease prevention and health promotion, and that the negative perception of colon cancer actually prevents people from receiving accurate information.


Dr Daud, who recently made a discovery of a unique type of immune-system cell that can change the future of cancer treatments, was joined in a panel discussion by his colleague Prof Dr Robert S Warren, Professor Department of Surgery, Chief of Surgical Oncology, UCSF, and three leading specialists from Zulekha Hospital Dubai: Dr Shareej S, Specialist Gastroenterologist, Dr. Rashmi C. Patel, Specialist General Surgery and Dr Tarek AlKhouri, Specialist Medical Oncologist.


The five practitioners discussed surgical aspects of colon cancer, treatment options and the importance of screening – the only effective way to prevent the disease.


As part of the new awareness programme, women and men in the UAE can take advantage of free specialist consultations and tests with surgeons and gastroenterologists at Zulekha Hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah until 5 October by registering online. The hospital also offers a 50% discounted rates on colonoscopy, laboratory and radiology tests.


Developed and launched in Dubai for the first time, the ‘Watch Your Back’ campaign is one of Zulekha Hospital’s key CSR initiatives, stressing the importance of regular checks for early detection and educating the wider public about screening opportunities that can prevent different types of cancer.



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