Posted on October 26, 2014

Qatar University (QU) undertook a number of outreach activities during October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These included a 5-day interactive Pink booth, a 2-day health exhibition, and student-led outreach on the disease.

They aimed to support national efforts to increase breast cancer awareness and early detection of disease, signs and symptoms, and to encourage regular breast examination. The month-long series of events came as a part of QU’s ongoing commitment to promoting awareness of health issues that impact the Qatari community.

Students, faculty and staff received information and guidance at the Pink booth that was erected at College of Arts and Sciences’ (CAS) reception area from October 12-16. The booth included a private room with demonstrations performed on a mannequin to show self-checking techniques and how to identify suspicious lumps. This activity was hosted by QU External Relations Department and organized by Agency 222 on behalf of the National Cancer Program. 

Qatar University's Breast Cancer [qatarisbooming.com].jpgBreast cancer was a core theme at the Third Health Exhibition organized by QU Medical Clinic on October 21-22 in conjunction with Hamad Medical Corporation National Center for Cancer Care & Research and its Health Professions Awareness Committee (HAC) under the heading “Working together for health”. The event brought together associations and institutes from across Qatar such as Sidra Medical and Research Center, ROTA, Qatar Mental Health Association, Qatar Anti-Doping Commission, Qatar Red Crescent, Qatar Center for Volunteering Activities, and many others, and drew a constant stream of visitors to the respective information booths. It also featured various health activities and services such as blood donation and medical checks for blood pressure, blood sugar, and BMI, as well as eye screening.

QU Medical Clinic Director Dr Hafsa Hashad said: “Cancer is a critical disease that needs vigilance from all members from the society and healthcare organizations to ensure early detection, prevention, treatment and care. This exhibition was an opportunity for medical and healthcare professionals and those in various sectors in Qatar to engage with the public and bring them up to date on the services they provide to advance health and well-being. We are pleased to partner with HMC to bring this event for the third time which will be of considerable benefit to QU members and the wider community.”

College of Pharmacy students also held their annual cancer community outreach activity for the 5th year. The event on October 1 was launched by the newly-elected executive members of Qatar Pharmacy Undergraduate Society (QPhUS) alongside 1st, 2nd and 3rd-year pharmacy students. Faculty, staff and students visited the breast cancer booth to learn about the disease, its detection and prevention. The program included the communication of key messages on the latest survival rates, reducing risk factors, and the pharmacist’s role in disease awareness and prevention, as well as a screening of a video on “Muslim Women and Breast Cancer” that co-related breast self-exams and performing wudhu. Visitors were also encouraged to leave a pink fingerprint in support of cancer survivors.

Another awareness event on breast cancer was hosted by CAS Department of Health Sciences on October 23 in collaboration with Qatar Cancer Society under the theme “Wear it Pink”. Visitors were encouraged to wear pink wrist bands in support of cancer survivors. The event included an awareness session led by medical staff who provided attendees with necessary information and tools about breast health and disease prevention, as well as a two-hour workshop and a training on methods of self-examination for females only.

Last but not least, the International Affairs Students’ Society hosted two female breast cancer survivors at QU Library on October 26 to hear their experiences and their advice on constant self-examination, early reporting of suspicious lumps, and strict interaction and follow-up with doctors and healthcare advisers to ensure efficient treatment towards positive outcomes.

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