The Caterpillar Foundation has awarded Susan G. Komen over $5 million in grants towards Latin American breast cancer programs, to increase awareness, strengthen services and remove barriers to access in Monterrey, Mexico; Panama City, Panama and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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.
A grant to Fundación CIMAB: Monterrey bolsters education programs and patient services in marginalized communities of the Monterrey metropolitan area. Funding to Hope Worldwide Monterrey, AC allows the organization to provide six 20-hour comprehensive training courses for medical students, focusing on breast self-awareness, cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Grants to the Panama City NGOs Fundación Casita de Mausi, FundAyuda and Associacion National Contra el Cancer support public education campaigns, breast self-awareness programs, and training for medical practitioners. These programs share the goal of increasing screening rates and ultimately, saving lives in Panama City.
In São Paulo a grant to Instituto Mimboé supports an extensive media and breast cancer education campaign, centering on photo exhibitions at major metro stations. Sociedad Beneficente Israelita Brasileira Albert Einstein has developed an internet-based train-the-trainer program to improve breast cancer screening rates in São Paulo. Additionally, to promote breast cancer awareness in São Paulo, the organization illuminated Hospital M Boi Mirim pink for breast cancer awareness month.
In October 2013, another $3 million, three-year partnership was announced that 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.
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.
“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.”
Thanks to the Caterpillar renewal, these types of services will soon expand to Piracicaba and Northeast Brazil; Guadalajara, Mexico; and rural communities in Panama.
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.
"The Caterpillar Foundation is proud to invest 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.”
Michele Sullivan, President of the Caterpillar Foundation
The Caterpillar Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Caterpillar Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed nearly $400 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs.
More information is available at www.caterpillar.com/foundation
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