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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The doctor spearheading change in cancer care in the UAE

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Shaheenah Dawood

There’s laughter within the breast most cancers ward.

Shaheenah Dawood is in her vivid sunny workplace carrying a lab coat, a floral costume and a smile that may make anybody really feel welcome and properly.

The one factor that’s infectious right here, in these corridors on the Mediclinic Parkview Hospital in Dubai the place we meet, is her vitality.

Working 7AM to 10PM seeing most cancers sufferers and giving them care and treatment, this Marketing consultant Medical Oncologist and Professor of Medical Oncology can’t afford to not be that ray of sunshine and hope, and to the care-giving employees round her as properly – comparable to in the course of the lockdown in 2020, when she ordered cheerful pink, blue and yellow scrubs and PPE for these in her division.

However the Emirati physician’s 24-page CV and the assortment of papers, accolades and awards to her title aside, there’s ardour in her voice, and severe function to her work.

“I all the time knew oncology is what I needed to do,” begins Dawood. “And for a number of causes. One, I’m a chatterbox, and I might discuss as a lot as I needed to those sufferers; the individuals you’re going to kind long-term relationships with. Two, when you get a affected person with most cancers early on, you’ll be able to treatment them, and the satisfaction you get from curing that one affected person, there’s nothing prefer it… The final decade has been really thrilling within the area of oncology greater than another specialty.”

Typifying every little thing the United Arab Emirates (UAE) goals to be within the realm of healthcare for the world, with the glistening metropolis of Dubai changing into the hotbed of healthcare innovation and medical tourism in recent times, Dawood is on the forefront of main that change, with analysis, scientific trials, personalised medication and breakthroughs in oncology to vastly change affected person outcomes.

She educated in medical oncology at McGill College Hospitals in Canada, sub-specialized in breast most cancers administration on the MD Anderson Most cancers Middle, served as an Editorial Fellow on the New England Journal of Drugs and has an MPH diploma from the Harvard College of Public Well being.

She might have stayed on in the US however determined to return residence greater than a decade in the past to change into one of many first feminine oncologists on the time within the UAE, and make a distinction.

“I believe the UAE, with our chief, is simply unbelievable in the best way it has put girls on the market within the healthcare sector. I got here in with so many concepts that the very first thing I did was put these concepts apart, and say ‘I have to develop one thing right here that’s accommodating to the individuals right here’. I turned the top of oncology at Dubai Well being Authority, however there was quite a lot of work to do.

“I developed multidisciplinary tumor boards and complete most cancers care applications, working with a wonderful group of individuals. After which I made a decision to interrupt off and do one thing different than simply scientific work, so I began the Excellence in Oncology Care Summit, which began off with 120 individuals, and final 12 months, we had 4,000 attending nearly in addition to in-person from throughout Southeast Asia, the Center East and Africa.”

The listing goes on, and Dawood is now heading and establishing the oncology scientific trials program at Mediclinic Metropolis Hospital that can enable sufferers within the Center East to entry medication they might in any other case not have been capable of.

“Exams are horribly costly, in every single place across the globe… There may be knowledge that in comparison with another specialty, oncology drugs price essentially the most… We have to have higher entry to remedy, and considered one of them is making an attempt to beat the price… And we have to begin addressing it significantly to have the ability to supply the identical sort of care to everybody, no matter their monetary state of affairs…

“I had a affected person from Africa, I can let you know he offered his land to come back right here and get the remedy. I’ve quite a lot of sufferers from Nigeria and Eritrea. We do hear their tales..,” says Dawood, her voice laced with concern but additionally hope.

As well as, she spends her time educating on the Mohammed Bin Rashid College Of Drugs and Well being Sciences and dealing with PhD and medical college students on their analysis initiatives.

“The one factor that I maintain telling the newer technology,” says the 40-something game-changer within the medical sector, “is which you can obtain what you set your thoughts to attain by working laborious, and that no drawback is with no answer.”

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