The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi and the Red Crescent yesterday signed a collaborative agreement to fight breast cancer, creating a specific fund for donations.
The breast cancer programme, set up by the health authority, is aimed at prevention, and provides patients with control measures.
Dr Lamia Ahmed, the senior officer of the breast cancer programme at the health authority, said: "The most important thing in breast cancer is early detection, and that's what we aim to do: we create awareness, we collect data, statistics, we gather patients and we monitor the breast cancer situation in Abu Dhabi."
Breast cancer deaths worldwide have been increasing, and according to health authority statistics, about 160 women develop breast cancer each year in Abu Dhabi.
"It is very important for the UAE, as part of the international community, to be involved as this concern is a global one," said Mohammed Khalifa al Qamzi, the general secretary for the UAE Red Crescent.
Abu Dhabi is redoubling its efforts in the breast cancer field by "increasing the number of volunteers in both the public and private sectors, and raising women's awareness in breast cancer with early examinations", added Mr al Qamzi.
"We support the bank account by fund-raising for the campaign and encouraging people to donate online. They can even donate by sending an SMS to Red Crescent," he said.
The health authority, also known as HAAD, has had a great response to its campaigns. It managed to gather 30 organisations for its Pink Polo event in October at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club.
"It's going well," Dr Ahmed said. "We started three years ago, and we've had a good response from the community, private governmental facilities and organisations in Abu Dhabi, especially this year."
Some of these organisations include the Family Development Foundation, the Ministry of Healthcare and Youth and the Ministry of Education.
HAAD has also acquired at least 28 partners in the emirate. One of them is Al Noor Hospital.
"From our side, Al Noor Hospital strongly supports the initiatives to promote a healthier community and to raise the awareness about early discovery of illnesses," said Dr Aman El Duweini, the assistant managing director at the hospital.
"Hence, we have given our ultimate attention to support the HAAD initiative towards breast cancer awareness through conducting staff and public awareness sessions, in addition to facilitating tests to detect early stages," he said.
The initiative seems to be working.
"The number of mammograms has increased, and now women are interested and [actively] participating in [the campaign]," Dr Ahmed said.
The Red Crescent is also lending a hand by setting up mobile clinics and offering examinations all around Abu Dhabi.
Donations to the breast cancer programme fund may be made to Dubai Islamic Bank account: Red Crescent UAE: 003520572169501.