Nakumatt last month marked this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month by sponsoring this year’s campaign activities.
October is recognised as the breast cancer awareness month worldwide and in Rwanda it was marked with a walk from King Faisal Hospital at 2:00pm to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) parking lot for refreshments and ended at Christ Church of Rwanda, Gacuriro on October 25, 2015.
Activities included a Community Breast Cancer Forum led by a panel of doctors, nurses, survivors, and students and a Question and Answer Session.
Free Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) was provided by trained nurses from the Rwanda Midwives Association (RAM) before disseminating home Health Education materials.
The Ulinzi breast cancer awareness campaign concluded with a fundraising dinner on October 31, 2015.
Nakumatt Rwanda supported the activities for a whole week where they facilitated the organisers with a hall for teaching people more about breast cancer and how to do self-breast cancer examinations.
“Breast Cancer campaign is conducted regularly within all Nakumatt supermarkets including our outlets in the region. The aim is to raise awareness on cancer related cases particularly breast cancer,” said Adan Ramata, Country manager Nakumatt Holdings in Rwanda.
Ramata further pointed out that he saw the frustration and suffering his uncle underwent before he died of throat cancer.
“I recall the severe pain he went through and the grief our family endured during his ailing period, so I believe awareness is important, and I insist that everyone should be part of the campaign,” he remarked.
He commended the increasing participation from institutions taking part in increasing breast cancer awareness.
“I encourage individuals to be active towards the campaign, in order to spread the message to a wider group,” Ramata noted.
Speaking about this year’s breast cancer awareness activities, Philippa Kibugu-Decuir, the Founder and Director of BCIEA said they talked to as many people about nutrition and methods of early protection from the disease.
BCIEA is a non- profit organization dedicated to take the lead in the advancement of breast cancer surveillance and improved survival rates targeted to the most neglected population in the low income communities of East Africa.
Kibugu, who is also a breast cancer survivor, noted that with such support from companies like Nakumatt, they would be able to create the much need awareness on breast cancer.
“Most people, especially in the rural setting, are unaware about breast cancer and as a group we have to address this challenge,” she said.
“The sad reality is that breast cancer does not discriminate between men or women, black or white, rich or poor yet the simplest thing in the fight of breast cancer is knowing your breast and early detection.”
She noted that many Rwandans were not aware of their breast cancer status, waiting until it was too late, when the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body.
Currently, the initiative has had direct contact with over 7,000 Rwandan women who are empowered through awareness, education and early detection workshops that encourage participants to utilise lessons learned.
Nakumatt Rwanda is there to support BCIEA in all its initiatives in supporting breast cancer awareness in Rwanda and beyond.