Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Breast Cancer screening truck launched


By Eli Lillis - October 19, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [Health Care]

A large truck sits in central Ramallah, decorated hot pink with a painted ribbon on its back.

This is Dunya Women’s Cancer Clinic’s latest addition. Costing round $5,000,000, the truck is a mobile screening clinic, hosting a waiting room and reception, a toilet, office, change room and most importantly, an x-ray machine for mammograms.
      Awareness is a big part of what Dunya does. When the clinic started in 2011, 500 women were screened. In 2017, that number leapt to 2,400.  

Two years in the making, the clinic has recently started servicing villages near Ramallah. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide campaign and a perfect time for the mobile clinic to begin its maiden treatment. Eventually the clinic will tour the entire West Bank.

   The mobile clinic will take three years to tour the whole of the West Bank.

 

The idea for the mobile clinic arose when Dr Nufuz Maslamani, Medical Director of the Dunya clinic, first approached Samir Joubran from The Trio Joubran, a popular Palestinian band formed of three brothers. Dr Maslamani asked if Joubran would potentially play a one hour fundraiser. 

Samir Joubran recalls the concert: “To feel it physically… After playing for 12 hours my hand was swollen and bleeding... I fainted after the concert.” 

    Samir Joubran recalls the concert: “To feel it physically… After playing for 12 hours my hand was swollen and bleeding... I fainted after the concert.”
 

“After two days, amazing Samir comes in and he says 'I have a mad idea, what about a mobile clinic?,” Dr Maslamani recalled. 

“I told him I’d be very happy but that they cost too much, half a million dollars for the vehicle plus running costs - we don’t have money for this, we are a non-profit!” 
 
Joubran considered this and came back with a solution. A music marathon. Twelve hours of the Trio Joubran playing nonstop, with over 100 artists joining them at separate points. 
 
“There was no talking between artists. Not the whole time. For 12 hours. I was in a trance,” Joubran recounted the performance.  
 
“What we did, no one has done before.”    

 Health Worker Khulood Arar works in the clinic said “Everybody wants to be healthy. They just want a centre or clinic that they trust, like this mobile clinic.” 

The fundraiser went well above anyone’s expectations. One and a half million dollars was raised in total - enough to buy the mobile clinic and provide free services for three years, and donate $300,000 to Al-Helal Al-Emirati Hospital in Gaza.   

 

 Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in Palestinian women.

“It means we can go to the poor women in rural areas, and I hope we will save their lives,” Dr Maslamani spoke of the clinic’s importance.
 
“We are proud of this. We say we can fight cancer. Well we have two cancers here. One is a big cancer, the occupation. And this clinic is helping to fight that.”

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