Oct 4, 2012, 1:25 PM
In her welcoming remarks, Ndella Faye-Colley, President of Soroptimist International in Banjul, said the club was established in 1987 and since then it has supported and sponsored many girls to access education from primary to university level.
She added that the club has also sponsored women on income-generating activities such as gardening projects in the Marakissa/Kebekel in West Coast Region, including support to some schools, and other community services.
“Each year, October is observed as Breast Awareness Month, which is marked in many countries all over the world,” Mrs Faye-Colley said. “This is done to increase awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care for breast cancer victims.”
She explained further: “According to WHO, breast cancer is one of the most common cancer that affects women worldwide in developed and developing countries, with 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year.
“This data is alarming and this has prompted the Soroptimist Club of Banjul to organize this forum to raise awareness on breast cancer for girls and women to enhance knowledge for its early detection and referral for appropriate medical care.
“This is meant to achieve one of the objectives of Soroptimist which is to ‘Ensure women and girls have food security and access to highest attainable standard of health care’ to attain one of the goals.”
Dr Suzanne Anderson, Head of Clinical Services at the Medial Research Council (MRC), spoke on various areas of breast cancer awareness ranging from epidemiology, to the harsh face of cancer for African women, and how cancer can be detected.
Dr Anderson also spoke about reducing the risk of getting breast cancer, its treatments among others.
The MRC clinical services head highlighted the need to raise awareness on issues such as breast cancer stigma, education on symptoms and treatment of breast cancer, and knowledge of early detection of beast cancer.