Breast Cancer Awareness Education for Communities in Samoa

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Education Awareness Outreach to village community

Despite international border restrictions and several lockdowns in Auckland at the start of the year, it did not stop the Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand from reaching out to the Samoa Cancer Society (SCS), to secure sponsorship for shipment and transportation costs while ensuring the safe arrival and delivery to SCS office, of 2 breast ‘training models’ (full breast and small “male” breast).

The National Breast Health Educator of the New Zealand Foundation, Debra Leutenegger says, “we were more than happy to send them over at no cost to the Society, to be of use in raising breast health awareness within the communities of Samoa”.

In addition to the training models, Breast Cancer Foundation NZ has extended an invitation for SCS and the community to freely access and make use of its online resources that is available on their website www.breastcancerfoundation.org.nz

For SCS, the additional training models and materials will surely be an added bonus in enhancing a more practical approach to education awareness and outreach sessions that are being conducted during the course of the year. Currently, outreach programs on breast cancer comprise of power point presentations on signs and symptoms, distribution of posters, brochures, promotional videos and awareness ads. Some of the most frequently asked questions about what the signs look and feel like, can now be demonstrated using these training models.

The Samoa Cancer Society is working steadily towards digitizing a lot of its information resources in light of the current COVID-19 situation. This requires extensive and collaborative efforts with stakeholders and funders on attaining the most up to date information, interpreting information in Samoan and Sign language to ensure a holistic delivery that will include the marginalized and vulnerable members of our community. In the meantime however it will continue to carry out community outreaches where possible utilizing the resources on hand with in kind contribution such as the training models from Breast Cancer Foundation NZ and funding support from donations and sponsorship from the local community with several international funders including Australia High Commission Direct Aid Programme, Canada Fund with Local Initiatives, CSSP and New Zealand High Commission.