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Emirati females make up 30% of Cervical Cancer cases in the UAE

Cervical cancer is a disease where the cells of the cervix start multiplying uncontrollably and 99% of the time is cause by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is the most common cancer in women and the fourth most fatal.

Without urgent action deaths are projected to rise by 25% over the next 10 years. Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (HAAD) will be implementing a HPV screening programme in the Emirate in 2013 to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer and its mortality rates. The screening programme is in response to research that suggests that, currently, 30% of cervical cancer cases in the UAE are made up by Emirati women.

Risk Factors and other issues related to this topic will be discussed on the 31 March-2 April 2013 as part of the Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress (OBS-GYNE 2013) at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, UAE.  Organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, the Obs-Gyne Conference covers the most up-to-date information on treatment and technologies available in obstetrics and gynaecology, women’s health, neonatal care, and midwifery in the region.

“A screening program will be implemented in 2013, where more than 20 medical facilities will be selected in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to comply with HAAD standard. The program’s goals are to reduce the incidence of cancer and mortality, detect and remove disease precursors consequently preventing it developing into cancer,” highlighted Dr. Jalaa Asaad Taher, section head, cancer control and prevention, Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

HAAD’s program aims to screen around 70% of the Emirati female population, and by doing so, result in 60% reduction in the incidence rate of cervical cancer and a 20% decrease in the mortality rate.

“Initiated in March 2008, the HPV vaccine was offered at schools throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi utilising the existing school vaccination program and targeting all students free-of-charge. In its next stage in 2013, it will be available at various healthcare facilities, pre-marital screening clinics, women’s health centres, cancer screening centres, and college/university screening clinics. The aim of this initiative is to increase the uptake of the vaccine in the target population from 70-80% over the course of five years,” says Dr. Jalaa Taher.

According to HAAD, HPV is a group of over 100 types of viruses, HPV 16 and 18 cause 70% of cervical cancer. Additionally 80% of women acquire the infection in their lifetime, however persistent infection with high risk HPV cause abnormal cellular changes, which can develop into cancer over 10-15 years.

Risk factors that increase the development of this cancer are smoking, the use of birth control pills for more than five consecutive years, multiple full term pregnancies (three or more), having a full term pregnancy at a young age, and having a condition that alters the body’s immunity and having sexually transmitted diseases.

Running alongside the conference is an exhibition with more than 35 exhibiting companies from 10 countries showcasing healthcare technology and innovation from across the obs-gyne medical sector.  Top exhibiting companies include industry giants such GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer Healthcare, Philips, GE Healthcare, STORZ, and the American Hospital Dubai.

For more information on Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress, please call +971 4 407 2743 or visit