Nancy G. Brinker Stresses Need for Breast Cancer Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries as part of African First Ladies Summit – Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – June 28, 2013 – Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, today announced Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and Chair of Global Strategy, will visit Tanzania next week to continue implementing breast cancer programs in the sub-Saharan African country.
The trip is part of the African First Ladies Summit – Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa, hosted by the George W. Bush Institute on July 2-3. Brinker will speak about the need to raise awareness and implement effective breast and cervical cancer programs in Tanzania. First lady Michelle Obama and former President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush are keynote speakers.
More than 60 percent of cancer deaths occur in the developing world, yet only five percent of world cancer resources are dedicated there. North and sub-Saharan Africa have some of the highest growth rates in breast and cervical cancer cases worldwide.
Susan G. Komen is a founding member alongside the George W. Bush Institute, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS of the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® (PRRR) Partnership – a lifesaving health program that builds on existing healthcare programs to integrate cervical and breast cancer screenings, treatment and education in this region. With initial commitment of $85 million across five years, the primary goal of PRRR is to reduce deaths from these growing women’s cancers in developing nations.
"Before my sister, Suzy, died, she made me promise her that I would do everything in my power to rid the world of breast cancer," said Brinker. “Where a woman lives should not determine whether she lives and at Susan G. Komen we are working hard to help women around the world.”
During her visit, Brinker will also meet with patients and doctors at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute where she will meet with the Medical Women’s Association of Tanzania (MEWATA) and the Tanzania Breast Cancer Foundation (TBCF). Ocean Road Cancer Institute is the only specialized facility for cancer in Tanzania and one of the country’s oldest health institutions.
Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, will co-host with Brinker a tour of this facility on Tuesday, July 2 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. local time as part of the Summit’s breakout sessions. On Wednesday, July 3 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. local time Brinker will join Sidibé and other experts at the International Labour Organization (ILO) Office for Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda in a panel discussion on the need for a comprehensive package of health services for women living with HIV.
“At Susan G. Komen, we believe the focus should be on the continuum of care — the chain of events that begin with education and screening, and carry a patient through diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and hopefully remission,” Brinker said. “Part of our role in Tanzania will be to provide doctors with the tools and training to ensure women are not lost along this continuum.”
As a founding partner of PRRR, Susan G. Komen is committed to raise the profile of women’s cancer in the global arena, and provide grassroots training to educate women about breast and cervical cancer and empower them to seek and demand screening, treatment, and vaccination.
Highlights of Komen’s work to date in Africa include:
• Providing a grant to The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) to establish the Cancer Prevention Alliance of Zambia. This alliance convenes existing breast and cervical cancer advocacy organizations in Zambia in order to coordinate strategies and share best practices.
• Scaling up breast and cervical cancer education to increase knowledge and awareness and reduce stigma throughout Zambia in coordination with local NGOs, the Zambian government, the U.S. government and PRRR partners.
• Committing $200,000 USD to training medical specialists on breast healthcare diagnostics and treatment through a twining arrangement with a U.S. based University.