Renewed Three-Year Partnership Continues 2011 Investment to a total of $5 Million
DALLAS – October 8, 2013 – A women’s health partnership that has already served millions in Latin America is growing larger with the announcement today that the Caterpillar Foundation will invest an additional $3 million toward Latin American breast cancer programs with Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization.
The $3 million, three-year partnership adds to the $2 million that Caterpillar first donated in 2011 for breast cancer programs to increase awareness, strengthen services and remove barriers to access in Monterrey, Mexico; Panama City, Panama and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The additional funding will allow programs to expand to new cities in Latin America.
“Caterpillar’s commitment has already made a significant difference for millions of women in Latin America, with more to come,” said Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and Chair, Global Strategy for Susan G. Komen. “We’re looking forward to building on our work with local governments, to reach our mutual goal of sustainable and improved healthcare in Latin America.”
Since it began in 2011, the partnership has touched 3.3 million women through mass media public awareness campaigns, educational workshops and training of community educators, conferences and formal trainings with the medical community and the reduction of barriers preventing women from accessing breast health services.
In addition, more than 6,000 women have been screened for breast cancer through either clinical breast exams or mammograms, many of whom were receiving one for their first time.
"The Caterpillar Foundation is proud to extend our partnership with Susan G. Komen,” said Michele Sullivan, President of the Caterpillar Foundation. “By educating communities in Latin America about breast cancer and improving access to trained medical professionals, we’re empowering women to proactively take control of their health.”
In Mexico, health educators equipped with Komen’s breast self-awareness messaging are going door-to-door to reach women in low-income communities and teaching them to take action for their health by understanding their family history, making visits to the doctor, being vigilant about changes in their body and living healthy lifestyles. In Panama, Komen is collaborating with indigenous leaders to promote breast cancer awareness to men and women in several marginalized indigenous communities. And in addition to building the capacity of social workers in Brazil, grants to this country have created training opportunities for breast cancer experts to share valuable knowledge and techniques essential to improving screening, diagnostic and treatment methods.
Thanks to the Caterpillar renewal, these types of services will soon expand to Piracicaba and Northeast Brazil; Guadalajara, Mexico; and rural communities in Panama.
“In Panama, we are committed to saving lives from breast cancer. Susan G. Komen and the Caterpillar Foundation are partnering with us at the community level to achieve this,” said Dr. Javier Diaz, Minister of Health of Panama. “Their local engagement and support are leading to sustainable improvements, and already raising awareness and helping women to access life-saving services in Panama City.”
According to the World Breast Cancer Report 2012 – published by the International Prevention Research Institute and funded by Komen – there will be more than 1.6 million women diagnosed with breast cancer this year, compared to about 641,000 in 1980. Estimates from 2008 from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) predict that in the next decade, more than 17.5 million women around the world will develop breast cancer, and more than 5 million women will die of the disease.
Recognizing the growing global impact of breast cancer, the shared challenges among countries worldwide, and the value of coordinated advocacy in the battle against this disease, Komen began exploring outreach outside the U.S. in 1999. Komen has partnered or funded programs in more than 50 countries and has awarded more than $27 million for international breast cancer research grants and more than $17 million for international community education and outreach grants.
Read about the work we've done in Latin America on our blog.