The Qatari Businesswomen Association (QBWA) and the Spouses of the Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Qatar (SOHOM), in co-operation with the Qatar Cancer Society, organised a breast cancer awareness session on the occasion of International Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The event also saw the participation of a group of elite women in Qatar, under the sponsorship and hospitality of the Diplomatic Club, with the aim of raising the level of health awareness on factors leading to cancer and the importance of early detection in improving the chances of recovery.
The session was attended by QBWA vice president Aisha Alfardan and QBWA board members Awatef al-Dafaa, Natra Saeed, and Mishael al-Ansari.
Also in attendance were Raeda Abu Issa, Mashael al-Derham, Dr Somaya al-Rashid, Jamila Mohamed, Najla al-Shafei, Noof al-Abdullah, Tafida Younes, Dr Tahani Saker, Halima al-Azkwi, Natalia Mena, Palma Libotte, and Diana Monis, in addition to QBWA executive director Jiskala Khalayli.
The event was held in the presence of Spanish ambassador Belen Alfaro, Greek ambassador Eleni Michalopoulou, and SOHOM president Anika Musa, the spouse of the South African ambassador to Qatar.
Attending from the Qatar Cancer Society were general manager Mona Ashkanani, director of Programme Management Huda al-Yafei, and head of Business Development and Donations Mariam al-Zeyara.
Al-Dafaa started the meeting with a welcome speech and thanked Qatar Cancer Society for its efforts in raising awareness of breast cancer and ways to prevent it, the importance of conducting periodic examinations, and following healthy lifestyles to fight the disease.
She pointed out that the awareness session was within the framework of QBWA’s social responsibility and its belief in the importance of preserving women’s health and their role in protecting their family and society, working to prevent cancer and mitigate its effects in Qatar within the framework of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
“Our future is in our health, which aims at building a comprehensive healthcare system, that meets the best international standards, and developing an integrated health centre that provides an improved level of health and care services and offers the highest standards of health care,” said al-Dafaa.
Ashkanani thanked QBWA for the session and its role in raising health awareness and encouraging women to follow a healthy diet and exercise. Ashkanani urged women to perform a periodic radiological examination due to its contribution to the discovery of cancer in the early stages, thereby increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the treatment process.
Ashkanani also emphasised that Qatar Cancer Society seeks to spread awareness of cancer and activate national cancer control programmes as a joint responsibility between various charitable, private, and governmental sectors.
She said the society has been organising such events that aim at encouraging the early detection as a main pillar in prevention and treatment and instill the spirit of hope and optimism towards cancer and the ability to fight it, in addition to activating the community’s role in providing the necessary financial and moral support to cancer patients, supporting, empowering, and advocating for people living with the disease, and developing professional and scientific research in the field of cancer.
In her speech, Musa thanked QBWA and Qatar Cancer Society for making SOHOM a part of the initiative. She said, “One of the most important rights for all women all over the world is the right to enjoy good health. Women are prone to certain diseases and need to take quick steps in the right direction.”
She encouraged women to think positively, “especially because the disease affects the lives of everyone in one way or another.”
“We are also pleased to work hand in hand to spread awareness of the importance of early detection by conducting periodic examinations and adopting healthy lifestyles to combat breast cancer,” Musa said, adding “the pain you feel today is your source of strength for tomorrow.”
Dr Artefaa al-Shamari gave a detailed presentation on breast cancer, methods of prevention, and available treatments, and answered questions from the attendees.
Aisha al-Tamimi and Shaikha al-Manai also shared their experience with breast cancer and how they dealt and survived it by having the belief and the patience and the right medical treatments.
At the end of the meeting, Qatar Cancer Society presented the QCS shield to QBWA in appreciation of its contribution to raising awareness on breast cancer.
The International Breast Cancer Awareness Month was launched in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.