9 October 2018

Gambia: Awareness On Breast Cancer Begins in Earnest

The Sainey's Cancer Foundation (SCAF) in collaboration with Your Change for a Change (YCFAC) have embarked on a month long breast cancer awareness as part of activities marking the World Breast Cancer Day.

The sensitisation is designed to raise awareness of people and help protect them from the deathly disease.

At a press conference held at the Yaws Fashion Shop on Brufut Highway, Ya Awa Conateh of SCAF explained that SCAF came as an inspiration from her sister who passed away in 2016 from breast cancer. "SCAF is given love to support and raise awareness on cancer, and the reason being is that, we come to realise that a lot of women in The Gambia die on daily basis and we realise that we should do an awareness because lot of us are victims".

She thanked the sponsors for believing what they are doing, saying SCAF started last year and then forged a partnership with Your Change for a Change.

Doctor Kitabou Jammeh, a medical doctor at Edward Franchise Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) said: "Every Thursday there is breast cleaning and women with breast condition come to the breast clinic and they are examined, evaluated and some are found to have cancer," he said.

He disclosed the breast cancer is on the rise. "There are stages of breast cancer which go up to four. The challenge we have in The Gambia is late coming of patients. In my research, I realised that late presentation happens to be a common future in our sub region."

"We are not that educated about breast cancer and this is the greatest challenge we have now, going from education to awareness. The only treatment of the cancer is surgery and the Fullas are having the largest record in cancer disease, flowed by the Jola tribe. In our register with those with cancer, 28.6% of the woman was all nulliparous, about 30% never have children and 46.4% have less than 3 children."

Doctor Modou Bella Jallow, the country director for YCFAC, said that the organsation was founded in 2007 by Gambians in abroad to give back to their country. He explained that they decided to start with health but they have now gone beyond that.

He explained that breast cancer is the leading deathly cancer, describing it as a risk factor.

He said during the month long celebration, they will keep on creating awareness, pointing out that government cannot do it alone. He added that they are working to complement government's efforts in fighting against breast cancer.

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