Unprecedented Collaboration Helps to Break the Silence in Egypt
Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and The Links, Inc. Award Grants Aimed at Helping Breast Cancer Patients
CAIRO, EGYPT – October 23, 2009 – Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is expanding its global breast cancer mission to Egypt this October, working with Egyptian government agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to break the silence and stigma around breast cancer. The world’s leading breast cancer advocacy organization today announced a slate of grants to Egyptian NGOs to support women’s health initiatives including vital breast cancer education, treatment and rehabilitation programs. On the eve of the historic Egypt Race for the Cure® at the Pyramids of Giza, and thanks to the support of GE Healthcare, Egyptian and United States collaborating organizations lit the Pyramids pink and sent a message of breast cancer awareness throughout the world.
Under the patronage of H.E. Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, First Lady of Egypt and President and Founder of the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement (SMWIPM), Susan G. Komen for the Cure is collaborating with the Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt (BCFE), The Suzanne Mubarak Regional Center for Women’s Health and Development (SMC), the SMWIPM and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to showcase Egypt’s leadership in the fight against breast cancer and ignite the breast cancer movement throughout the region. This joint effort is in support of the Ministry of Health’s National Program to Combat Breast Cancer in Egypt.
“While misconceptions and cultural stigma surround breast cancer in Egypt, advocates and survivors are proving that information and knowledge are crucial to saving lives,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Komen Founder and United Nations’ World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control. “Illuminating the Great Pyramids of Giza pink will send a clear message to the world that breast cancer knows no boundaries, and that by working together, we can make great strides against this disease,” added Ambassador Brinker.
In the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Komen for the Cure will shine a light on the life-saving work of health professionals, advocates and survivors who are on the front lines of Egypt’s battle against breast cancer. This evening, Komen announced a grant to support BCFE’s mammography screening program and lymphedema awareness, prevention and treatment program. A second grant from Komen and The Links, Inc., one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of African American women, will support BCFE’s breast prosthesis program. And a third grant from Komen to the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement will fund a women’s health and education program.
“We are proud to be partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, once again, for this important initiative in Egypt. Regardless of our culture, demographics or where we are on the globe, breast cancer impacts us all,” stated Dr. Gwendolyn Lee, National President of The Links, Inc. “Together, we are ensuring that our work in local communities and all around the world make a positive difference in the health and well being of women everywhere.”
GE Healthcare supported the historic lighting of the Pyramids of Giza. This year marks a significant milestone for the company as it commemorates the tenth anniversary of digital mammography, a breast cancer screening technology introduced by GE Healthcare in 1999. “GE Healthcare is proud to support this worthwhile country initiative in promoting breast cancer awareness and education in Egypt and across the globe,” said Richard di Benedetto, GE Healthcare’s President and CEO for the Eastern & Africa Growth Markets (EAGM) region. “Through our own research as well as partnerships with other industry innovators, GE is continuing to develop advanced technologies that could help improve breast cancer detection in the future.”
A press event this past Wednesday, Oct. 21 in Alexandria, Egypt kicked off the week’s breast cancer awareness activities including a Regional Training Seminar on Breast Cancer Support Groups, tomorrow’s landmark Egypt Race for the Cure at the Giza Pyramids and the University of Florida’s 15th Annual Multidisciplinary Symposium on Breast Disease. Ambassador Brinker is leading a Komen mission delegation trip to Egypt where 40 U.S. delegates will experience first-hand the state of breast cancer in Egypt as well as in other countries in the region. Joining the U.S. delegation are nearly 30 Egyptian and regional breast cancer survivors and advocates representing ten countries in the Middle East.
Egypt is just one of several countries Komen is focusing on based upon the country’s need, relative political and economic stability, and the willingness of its high-ranking government officials and many non-governmental officials to work together in building capacity to address its high breast cancer mortality rates.
About the Partner Organizations
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems. Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com. Visit GE's breast cancer mosaic at www.breastcanceremotion.gehealthcare.com.
The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. Membership consists of 12,000 professional women of color. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. For more information, visit www.linksinc.org.
The Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement, founded in 2003, is a non-profit, non-governmental international organization whose principal goal is to advocate and work towards peace and human security, and to empower women and youth to participate as key influencers, change agents and active partners in peace processes. For more information, visit www.womenforpeaceinternational.org.
The Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt (BCFE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting breast cancer in Egypt. BCFE is registered under the Ministry of Social Solidarity. The organization’s ultimate objective is life without breast cancer. BCFE started its work with the community in 2004 by targeting women from all social and economic strata. Individually, they represent health care professionals, breast cancer survivors, and local advocates. Collectively, they are a driving force to bring breast cancer awareness, education, and screening to Egyptian women. BCFE’s services include breast cancer awareness, early detection and patient programs as well as support groups. For more information, see www.bcfe.org.
The Suzanne Mubarak Regional Center for Women’s Health & Development (SMC) is a training and research center active in all areas of women’s health and development situated in Alexandria, Egypt. It offers activities to women at large and to all professionals working in the area of women’s health and development in Egypt and friendly neighboring countries. The SMC is governed by a Board of Trustees headed by H.E. Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, First Lady of Egypt, and is under the direct control of H.E. the Minister of Health. For more information, visit www.smcalex.com.
The Ministry of Health of Egypt provides overall coordination of policy formulation, national data collection, quality control, monitoring and evaluation of the National Women’s Health Program (NWHP). The National Breast Cancer Screening Program, a component of the NWHP, was launched in 2007 to improve the early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Under the patronage of H.E. Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, the screening program utilizes mobile vans and static mammography units in general hospitals and targets women in underserved areas in Egypt. For more information, visit www.mohp.gov.eg.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent federal government agency that has a long history of extending a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster, or striving to live in a free and democratic country. USAID has worked closely with the Government of Egypt and local partners for over three decades in collaborative efforts to improve the quality of life for all Egyptians. Progress has been achieved through investments and technical assistance in the areas of education, economic growth, health, water management, agriculture, environment and natural resources, antiquities, and democracy and governance. US economic assistance to Egypt through USAID has totaled more than $28 billion since 1975. For more information, see http://egypt.usaid.gov.
The Johns Hopkins University/Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs provides technical assistance to Communication for Healthy Living project funded by USAID Egypt as a collaboration with the Egyptian government. A pioneer in the field of strategic, research-based communication for behavior change and health promotion, the center has been working on national health campaigns in Egypt since the mid-1980s, building on successful predecessor projects through the cooperative efforts of USAID and the Government of Egypt that began in the mid-1970s. For more information, visit www.jhuccp.org.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) manages the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Global Initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness. Founded in 1919, IIE is one of the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organizations. IIE has long worked to implement training programs, particularly through its close relationships with universities, government agencies, and NGOs dedicated to human capacity development. For more information, visit www.iie.org.