Zulekha Hospital’s 2017 campaign will offer free cervical cancer checks throughout June

Keeping to a regular schedule of testing for cervical cancer can be both challenging and costly, with well woman checks ruled out by many health insurance policies and, as such, out of the realms of possibility for many women.

Now, as part of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Dubai’s Zulekha Hospital has launched the Chance to Change campaign 2017, in a bid to raise awareness and improve detection rates across the city. As cervical cancer is commonly derived from HPV, it can be easily avoided from an early age if women are vaccinated before they’re exposed to the virus while, in adult women, regular testing can help spot irregularities before the disease takes hold. As such, the hospital will be providing free gynaecological consultations, pap smears and HPV vaccines to women throughout June, as well as leading efforts to educate the public about the importance of regular testing.

Speaking at this year’s launch, co-chair Zanubia Shams said: “Cervical cancer can affect as many as 93 women across the UAE every year. The number of fatal cases among these can be as high as 28. For a disease that can be easily prevented and eradicated through regular screening and vaccinations, we have made it our goal to reach as many women in the Emirates as possible.”

Thanks to the campaign, the number of women receiving free consultations and pap smear tests has already grown dramatically, from 475 in 2015, to 1,400 in 2016. Now in its fourth year, 2017’s campaign is dedicated to the late Amira Bin Karam, former chairwoman of the Sharjah Business Women Council and Friends of Cancer Patients, in recognition of her dedication to humanitarian causes and female empowerment.

From June 1

204 Road, Al Qusais Industrial Area, next to Dubai Women’s College, Dubai. Tel: (600) 524442. Taxi: Zulekha Hospital. zulekhahospitals.com