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HAAD Breast Cancer Initiatives

The Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) - Breast Cancer Program

The Global Initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness was launched in Abu Dhabi in November 2007 in partnership with Susan G Komen for the Cure ® and the Institute of International Education, under the auspices of the National Higher Committee for Breast Cancer and the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. It is a capacity-building programme designed to create sustainable breast cancer outreach and education programmes. The prime focus of this Cooperation Agreement was to bring Komen’s proven Course for the Cure™ to Abu Dhabi Emirate, adapting the materials for a Gulf Arab community. HAAD would also drive the broader Breast Cancer agenda, working with SEHA and other healthcare Providers to deliver facilities, equipment, staff and training for the practical delivery of international quality breast screening. The final aim was to create a “roadmap” of the approach for roll-out in other emirates in the UAE, and in other countries across the Middle East, and a “toolkit” of practical materials that can be deployed in such a roll-out.

HAAD’s approach is simple and practical, yet rigorous; it combines two key pillars which are being driven in parallel according to evidence-based best practice:

  1. Driving uptake: Encouraging women from across the community to take-up screening (including Breast Self Examination, Clinical Breast Examination and Mammograms), through raising awareness, tackling stigma, and reinforcing implementation, critically, providing the practical advice on where, how, and when to go. In addition, HAAD has ensured coverage of the cost of screening through a blend of health insurance and government revenues.
  2. Delivering world-class capacity: Strengthening existing resources for Breast Cancer screening, staging, treatment and follow-up. This includes new screening facilities, providing world-class equipment, staff and training.
Breast Cancer Projects- 2011

Work place Awareness program

The program is designed to empower leading companies in the region with tools and knowledge to initiate innovative Workplace Awareness Programs as part of their overall corporate social responsibility s. This program feeds into HAAD’s ultimate goals of making the following impacts in Abu Dhabi.

Community Educator Program

A Community Outreach Program designed to train community educators to provide action plans such as home visits, follow up lectures and a tracking system to monitor progress in the three regions of Abu Dhabi. The Community Educator Program empowers participants to raise awareness about breast health and motivate healthy behavior (i.e. screening) among their peers in the community. The CEP forgoes more traditional lecture-style models of education in favor of more informal, flexible, and interactive information sharing. This allows the Community Educators to reach their peers and community members on their own terms, thus allowing broader access to people who may not be willing or able to take part in more formal education, or who might be missed through traditional forms of outreach

Establish of Community based Breast Cancer Support Groups

This project aim to establish guidelines and work frames to set up a community-based support group in the region. It is planned to start with breast cancer survivors and may extend to include all cancer Survivor.

Dissemination of the documentary " Healing & Hope"

“Healing & Hope” documentary is a first for the UAE, it features local breast cancer survivors and their families highlighting the survivors journey from the time they were diagnosed for breast cancer all the way till they finished treatment and how they are now back to normal life. To watch “Healing & Hope” request copy or send your feedback, please visit

MENA Region Collaboration on Breast Cancer

The U.S.-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research has established an advocacy network in the region to enhance clinical research, medical and advocacy training, community outreach, and women’s empowerment initiatives. In February 2010, it was agreed that HAAD will lead the efforts in the region to ensure that the network would continue its noble work. It was also agreed that the collaborative network will initially include Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and might involve other partners at a next stage. The initial participating organization are : Health Authority Abu Dhabi , King Hussein Cancer Center & the Jordanian Breast Cancer Program, King Fahad Medical City and Saudi Cancer Society . This Collaboration aims to sharing existing regional resources and at reaching a consensus on future projects, to fulfill the gaps existing in the region regarding optimal Breast cancer Care.

Breast Cancer Resource toolkit

The resource toolkit summarizes HAAD successful experience with breast cancer- the idea is share this success with organizations outside of Abu Dhabi. The toolkit to provide all of the necessary materials covering project management, key performance indicators, the healthcare service model and materials customized for local culture and language. it will be available soon online

Weqaya Screening- Breast Cancer

HAAD in partnership with Abu Dhabi Health services Co. “SEHA” and the private sector, have broadened weqaya screening for national in 2009 to include women eligible for screening mammograms ( 40-69 years). Weqaya lunched in 2008 for routine screening of cardiovascular risk factors for national, linked to issuing the insurance cards “Thiqa”. Through the program of “Weqaya Screening” and have established a telephone invitation and online booking through Weqaya screening has resulted in tremendous increase in number of screening mammogram, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, from 16% in 2008 to 69 % in 2010 comparable with the rates seen in best practice countries. Every year in Abu Dhabi, 40 lives will have been saved by the increase in mammogram screening and early detection of cancer.

HAAD started the ‘Simply check’ initiative with the aim to raise awareness about breast cancer, empower and engage women across the UAE through an innovative and customized approach, that best addresses local needs. The website,, run in partnership with Abu Dhabi Media Company’s Digital Media team, provides women with easy to access medical knowledge and continuous support, from advice on self –examination to scheduling bookings for regular mammograms. has helped thousands of women and is proof that knowledge saves lives!

Epidemiology profile of breast cancer in Abu Dhabi

HAAD is collecting Breast cancer registry for the years 2008 & 2009. This project aims to establish a baseline data on breast cancer incidence, mortality to plan comprehensive approach in tackling breast cancer and monitors performance and success of breast cancer initiatives.

Qualitative Research on barriers to breast screening

The qualitative research is attempt to uncover the possible barriers that may prevent women from screening for breast cancer .Focus group discussion with women and men constitute vital methods to add in achieving this target .As well as the KAP Study which it is focusing on the Knowledge, Attitude, Practice “, and believes of the physician who are concerning about breast health in general and Breast cancer in specific. The goal of this study was to explore the factors that influenced physicians to promote breast cancer screening, educate their patients and comply with guidelines and referral mechanisms

Training for Healthcare Professionals

First training workshop was designed establish breast care nurses. Subsequent training workshops will be addressing physicians and it will be designed and tailored according to KABP research results. Training includes theoretical and practical skills.

Breast Clinical care pathways

The HAAD Public Health Programmes team has designed a Breast Care Clinical Pathway to advise health care professionals in Abu Dhabi with regards to the screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow up stages of breast cancer care. This work is referenced to world class evidence based policies, standards and guidelines and has been comprehensively customized for the emirate in conjunction with local stakeholders.

Breast Cancer Newsletter

Continuous feedback and encouragement to healthcare providers are send throughout a quarterly newsletter developed by HAAD breast cancer .The newsletter communicate activities conducted by the team and the various partners, local and global events, updates on breast cancer facts and guidelines and the rates of screening mammogram by providers.