Primary Health Care Corporation Launches ‘Be The Role Model’ Campaign For International Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
Aqeel Saleh Al Janahi, Shaikha Al Jufairi & Aisha Al Tamimi Sign on As Role Models
Doha, Qatar – March 01, 2020: The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) is urging woman across Qatar to ensure they are screened for breast cancer every three years.
Doha, Qatar – March 01, 2020: Qatar’s Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) will stage a new campaign this month – ‘Be The Role Model’ – to encourage the public, both men and women aged between 50-74, to take up the bowel cancer screening opportunities offered under Qatar’s National Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening program ‘Screen For Life.’
The campaign will be run to mark International Bowel Cancer Awareness month and has drawn the support of three high profile ambassadors and supporters: Qatar TV anchor and Quran Kareem radio program producer Mr. Aqeel Saleh Al Janahi; Qatar Municipal Council Member and Head of the Legal Committee Shaikha Al Jufairi and well-known Qatari Chef and Etiquette Expert Aisha Al Tamimi. In addition to being role models themselves, they are encouraging people to get screened and be role models to others as well.
“Our thanks go to our ambassadors and supporters who will use their public profiles and extensive influence to encourage the public to get screened and overcome some of the obstacles people have to screening,” said Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha, Manager of Screening Programs at PHCC.
The campaign comes as ‘Screen For Life’ research unearths three main reasons why some people in the target group reject its call centre screening invitations even though early detection of the disease has been shown to lead to a 90% survival rate.
“The key reasons are lack of time, fear of testing positive for the cancer and a misunderstanding of faith beliefs when some people think faith means they don’t need to get screened,” explained Dr. Abu Shaikha. “We believe if we can tackle these fundamental obstacles, we can improve our screening rates to tackle the prevalence of bowel cancer which remains the second most diagnosed cancer in Qatar and a leading cause of death among its residents.”
Throughout the month the ‘Be The Role Model’ campaign will see the new ambassadors take part in ‘Screen For Life’ activities, to help spread the message and encourage people to get screened throughout their channels.
‘Screen For Life’ advises residents in the target age range to undergo bowel cancer screening every two years in line with international quality assurance guidelines.
“Screening should be undertaken by all in the 50-74 aged range whether or not they are displaying symptoms of the disease,” explained Dr. Shaikha. “We need to make them aware that by taking a very simple FIT test, which can be done in the privacy of their own homes, they are pro-actively protecting their health.”
The FIT test (Fecal Immunochemical Test) involves providing a fecal sample via a complementary kit available at the PHCC screening suites at Al Wakra, Leabaib and Rawdat Al Khail Health Centers. People are advised to schedule their appointments easily by calling the dedicated call center on 8001112.
PHCC’s ‘Screen For Life’ program works closely with the Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation and the Qatar Cancer Society to synergize efforts to reduce early deaths from cancer and other chronic diseases by 25% by 2025 in line with National Health Strategy 2018-2022 targets.
Last year some 14,293 people in Qatar underwent screening for bowel cancer. “More people are heeding the screening for early detection advice, but we still have a way to go to achieving the National Health Strategy targets. By leveraging our new ambassadors’ efforts and encouraging people to be role models for others, we hope to boost awareness and screening take up which will ultimately improve the overall health of the nation,” added Dr. Shaikha.