Empowering Egyptian women against cancer

Mai Samih , Thursday 24 Aug 2023

Aiming at lowering the risk of Egyptian females getting cervical and breast cancer, a new campaign will examine women in nine governorates.

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Dubbed the “1,000 kilometre journey”, a new campaign protecting the health of Egyptian women in nine governorates was launched last week.

The campaign is led by the Ministry of Social Solidarity in cooperation with the Egyptian Society for Colposcopy (ESC) under the slogan “Be One Step Ahead”.

Under the campaign, 50 clinics specialised in female reproductive health, early detection of cervical cancer, and pregnancy follow-up will be established in the designated governorates in which two mobile clinics will be touring.

According to a ministry press release, workshops for training medical staff and social pioneers as well as awareness sessions for women will be held in the governorates within the framework of the campaign.

Organisers will tour nine governorates starting with Alexandria in mid-September and ending with Cairo and will visit seven Upper Egypt governorates in between Beni Sweif, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, and Aswan. Two-day sessions will be held in each governorate.

The tour will come to an end on 5 and 6 January next year in Cairo.

Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine Al-Qabbaj stated that the campaign will cover awareness, in which social pioneers in the governorates will be trained on directing women to periodic follow-ups on reproductive health and methods of using contraceptives, as well as methods of prevention and early detection of types of cancer, including cervical, breast, lung, and colon.

Lectures will also be given on how to communicate information and develop personal skills among social pioneers for positive communication and persuading women of the importance of early detection.

A second part relates to training medical staff in the Be One Step Ahead Clinics to be set up in the governorates, and where doctors and nurses will be trained on how to teach patients to use various contraceptive methods as well as examining tools like the cervical speculum.

The third aspect of the campaign is represented in economic empowerment, as more health bazaars will be held to support small-scale projects by women to promote their products.

Al-Qabbaj called on every woman to periodically undergo medical check-ups for her health in general and reproductive and psychological health in particular.

“A women’s health is the health of the entire family, the health of society and the nation,” she said.

ESC President Mohamed Al-Azab said that upon arrival in Cairo, the campaign’s awareness-raising sessions and workshops will be held.

They will be informed of the results of the campaign as well as the organisation of a medical conference for all staff who worked in units training medical staff.

Al-Azab stressed that there is a declared vision and thought from the political leadership that targets citizens in general, and women in particular, and that this was reflected by ministry programmes such as Waai (Awareness), Etnein Kefaya (Two are Enough), and Deyarona (Our Home) exhibitions, which aim to empower women in all fields.

The campaign aims at scanning 10,000 females and vaccinating 30,000 against certain types of human papillomavirus which causes the greatest risk of cervical cancer.


* A version of this article appears in print in the 24 August, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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