The Primary Health Care Corporation’s (PHCC) Breast and Bowel Screening Programme continues to develop and update the services to ensure highest level of quality for the public, it was announced Wednesday.
This is line with the PHCC's main goal of providing the best preventive and curative health services to the population, a statement explained.
Since its launch during the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a significant engagement towards bowel cancer screening home delivery service and it has had an incredible effect on the number of follow ups and screening assessments.
In order to help the programme reach more people in the community, home delivery service of the bowel cancer screening kit has been reactivated via Qatar Post. The service is available for free, through which participants will be able to have a telephone consultation and then the bowel screening kit will be sent to their address by post.
The service will be available for all the targeted participants, in particular those who have previously completed their screenings with the programme either once or more, patients who are unable to physically attend due to far distance or special needs as well as the elderly.
Moving on, during October, the PHCC delivered the breast cancer awareness campaign under the slogan “Symptom free is not disease free - Screen to be sure!”
The slogan was chosen to emphasise the importance of getting the routine screening even if there is no symptom, as with any disease there is potential presence without any symptoms.
The Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a yearly celebration held worldwide in October. The purpose is to raise awareness about breast cancer and the signs and symptoms associated with it, as when spotted earlier it is easily treatable, and patients can continue to live a healthy life.
Research has also shown that breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women, therefore the significance of this campaign is extremely heightened.
The month-long comprehensive campaign included, print, social media efforts, public engagement awareness activities including lectures and activation health awareness booths.
Doha Festival City was one of the major supporters of the October campaign with awareness booths as well as in-mall advertisement. Health awareness booths were also present at nine different locations within PHCC HQ building, Al Wajbah, Umm Slal, Mesaimeer, Rawdat Al Khail, Leabaib, Wakra, Muaither, and Al Daayen Health centers. The specialists at the booths educated visitors on the importance of breast cancer screening, and registered the women in the target population to be called for the screening.
There were a total of 12 awareness lectures presented to the staff working at companies and schools, including, Al Khansaa Library (Ministry of Culture), Ministry of Finance, QSur, Voltaire School, Wyndham Hotel West Bay, Ghoson Spa, Zekrit Primary School, AlKhaleej AlArabi kindergarten, Khalifa Kindergarten for boys, Shell - Barwa Compound, Elite Medical Center, and Etqan Global Academy. PHCC also had collaboration with social media influencers to remind women about the importance of regular screening.
As part of their efforts to engage the public, the PHCC team also distributed giveaways at screening suites.
The campaign was also supported by Qatar Energy, WISH walkathon and several schools which distributed giveaways and the health education flyers.
Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha, director of the screening programmes at PHCC said: “This year we have successfully experienced a high level of engagement from our communities and the partnership across health sectors has been the key to ensuring that we reach our target audience.”
Overall, as a result of the October campaign Screen for Life – Breast and Bowel Screening Programme registered a total of 1,305 women who did their mammograms and 1,966 other women scheduled to do their screening.
“It is vital that we always remember that screening saves lives, therefore we must always ensure that we are up to date with our screening to detect the presence of disease at an early stage. When detected at early stages, which will be through the screening, breast cancer survival rate will reach up to 98%” said Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha.
“As a reminder, if you are between the age of 45 to 69, you don’t have any symptoms related to breast cancer, didn’t do your mammogram in the past three months, with a valid QID and health card please contact our call center 8001112 to book your appointment.”
There are four screening suites located at Leabaib, Rawdat Al khail, Muaither, and Al-Wakra health centres. The fully equipped units have the highest technology mammograms and well-trained clinical staff. For more information, please contact the ‘Screen for Life’ call center on 800 1112 or visit the website https://screenforlife.phcc.qa/