A world of awareness

DUBAIWORLD, the world’s largest holding group, yesterday launched a fantastic initiative to raise awareness of breast cancer among their female employees. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and the second most common overall.

By David Light (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Tue 8 Jul 2008, 2:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:09 PM

Awareness is the key to beating the illness and DubaiWorld feel their role as employer is to educate and informwomen in the work place in order to save lives.

This initiative comes as part of a worldwide campaign headed up by Vital Voices, a NGO headed by America’s First Lady Laura Bush. Vital Voices have so far signed up twelve companies across the globe to promote such a scheme in the work place with DubaiWorld being one of the first to publicly launch their ideas on educating women on this burning issue.

The function, held at the Goldolphin Ballroom in Emirates Towers was attended by guest speakers including Nasseem Rouhani, the Dubai Coordinator and Master Trainer for Vital Voices and Sharon Evans, a breast cancer survivor and Survey Manager for the Centre for Healthcare Planning and Quality. City Times spoke exclusively to both women about this hugely important event.

“Vital Voices Global Partnership has embarked on the making of our business program which was actually launched by First Lady Bush,” Nasseem began.

She continued, “As part of this programme it is actually the employee breast cancer awareness project that we are focusing on today. Twelve companies signed a charter and one of those companies was DubaiWorld.We’re very happy to have all these companies signed on and basically what we have done is host a few employees at training seminars where they were actually trained about breast cancer and how to detect it. These women were then sent back to their companies to launch awareness projects like the one today.

So this is DubaiWorld’s launch event to female employees at large. The other eleven companies will be doing similar activities. In October all twelve companies will get together and showcase the initiatives they have implemented. The companies can then learn from each other and ideas can be shared on how to get the message out there.

Everyone works together as a team. The initial idea was created by First Lady Bush whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, this was a very important issue for her. The US State Department have invested highly in the campaign and credit also has to go the Middle East Partnership Initiative who have been a great help to us. Vital Voices is an international NGO and our motto is ‘Invest in Women. Improve theWorld’ which is what we hope to do.”

Sharon Evans, a breast cancer survivor told us her hopes for Monday’s launch.

“This campaign is one of the closest things to my heart.

Here the message they’re trying to get out is if you detect breast cancer early you too can be a survivor. Basically I believe that the more women know about breast cancer and know that early detection is what saves lives the better we will all be. I want people to go home and talk to their sisters, talk to their mothers, talk to their aunts, talk to their brothers’ wives and spread the word because the more people know about it the more lives we can save. I’mso grateful that my company allows me to come and talk at these events and get the word out about my experience to more women.”

We wondered specifically what women can do in the fight against cancer of this type. Sharon answered, “Early detection and diagnosis is the difference between life and death. Once it starts to spread to your lymphatic system and around the rest of your body it gets harder to cure. The best thing women can do is learn how to do an accurate breast exam. They can contact their doctor, a breast cancer clinic or a hospital for instruction on how to do this. But the gold standard for breast cancer detection in women over forty are mammograms. Every women over the age of forty should have a mammogram at least once a year. Other than that women need to know their own breast as a normal breast before they can detect something that’s wrong so I urge women to start self-examination today and if you’re not sure how to do it you can log on to the Komen website (www.komen.org) where they have videos and show you how to do breast examinations.

If you feel anything abnormal get to a doctor straight away and get the appropriate tests done and do not delay.”

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