Posted on October 26, 2014

During ‘Pink October’ UCQ nursing students and alumni have been active in the community in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. These projects helped bring the message to ‘Be Breast Aware’ to thousands in Qatar.

Al Wakra hospital hosted a 3-day breast cancer awareness campaign in which leading healthcare professionals presented the need for early detection.  “We are delighted to take part in this important event,” says Debra Sheppard-Lemoine, nursing instructor at UCQ. “We have a strong relationship with Al Wakra Hospital; one of our post diploma students, Amal Al Obaidli, is currently precepted at here in the Gynecology, Obstetrical Outpatient Department, where she works under the leadership of a UCQ graduate, Fatma Naji, who is the Head Nurse and a key organizer of this campaign.”

“The best protection is early detection,” explains Head Nurse Fatma at the Al Wakra event.   “This year we created a multidisciplinary team to highlight the importance of early detection, and to show the kind of support and care available for people with breast cancer.” A second group of UCQ students presented at a well-attended and informative breast cancer awareness event at the Philippine School in Doha.  “The students are in community service throughout this semester,” says UCQ nursing instructor Jan Marie Graham. “They were warmly welcomed at the Philippine school and honored by the support they received in creating this awareness campaign.”

UCQ nurses lend support to Breast 2 [].jpg“A vital part of nursing is health promotion,” says UCQ nursing student, Asma Alamgir.  “This means we educate individuals to be advocates of health for themselves and their community.”  At the Philippine School, Asma and fellow UCQ nursing student Yasmin Lucas encouraged everyone to “get informed about breast cancer and pass it on.” “Nothing is more important than stopping breast cancer in its tracks,” says Dr. Kim Critchley, Dean and CEO of the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ).  “Through our partnerships with healthcare organizations and education here in Qatar, UCQ graduates and students are taking a strong role in reaching out to the Qatar community on this important health issue.”

The need for breast cancer awareness is high.  The World Health Organization (WHO) identified it as the most common cancer in women worldwide. Locally, the National Center for Cancer Care and Research registration system reveals that in Qatar as many as four women (including 1 Qatari national) a week are diagnosed with the disease, making the National Cancer Program’s ‘Be Breast Aware’ campaign a very important one.

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