ADU and VPS Healthcare Join Forces to Raise Awareness of Blood Cancer
30 September 2019
ADU in collaboration with VPS Healthcare and Burjeel Medical City, hosted a blood donation drive and seminar on blood cancer. The event, which took place at ADU’s Abu Dhabi campus, came as part of ADU’s commitment to raise awareness of over 130 types of blood cancers and related disorders, including leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, which are amongst the most common forms of cancer in the UAE and the MENA region.
The informative seminar, delivered by Dr. Urfan Ul Haq, Medical Oncology Consultant at Burjeel Hospital, gave students and faculty an overview of blood cancers that typically affect the production and function of blood cells. The presentation delved into the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of blood cancers, while also highlighting the possible risk factors for leukemia and lymphoma and ways to reduce risk.
Commenting on the urgency of raising awareness around these critical diseases, Dr. Haq said, “Each year in our region, thousands of patients are diagnosed with a form of blood cancer. As painful as this reality is, it is one we cannot stay silent about. VPS Healthcare and Burjeel Medical City are proud to support our colleagues at Abu Dhabi University and the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank through hosting the blood donation drive and seminar to promote awareness on blood cancer.” Opening this year, Burjeel Medical City, the 1.2 million sq/ft hospital with 400 beds, is VPS Healthcare's newest state-of-the-art facility. Located in Mohammad Bin Zayed City, the hospital is designed to be a hub for tertiary and quaternary oncology treatment, including immunotherapy and molecularly targeted therapies.
According to the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the UAE, with blood cancers accounting for 18% of all cancers in the country.
“We firmly believe that by educating the general public on the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and risk factors of blood cancers, that we will be able to help people identify symptoms from an early stage. In raising awareness, we are also able to support and strengthen the resolve of patients and families affected by blood cancer”, continued Dr. Haq.
Commenting on the blood drive, Deena Elsori, Associate Dean of the College of Health Sciences said, “It was our pleasure to organize this blood drive as the inaugural initiative for the newly established College of Health Sciences. Supply shortage in blood banks is a huge global issue, with countless patients in desperate need of blood.”
Through the blood drive, students and faculty at ADU were able to donate around 50 units to the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank. As of June 2019, more than 12,000 UAE residents had donated blood to those in need, but medical experts continue to stress that, due to rising needs as a result of new hospitals and transplant programs, more blood is needed in the UAE.
“There is no better way to give back to your society than to donate blood as often as you can, and we at ADU are proud to champion this cause by raising awareness and promoting social responsibility as part of our continuing community outreach efforts” continued Dr. Elsori.