I am using my breast cancer experience and in memory of my sister, Mabel who died from metastatic breast cancer to fight breast cancer in East Africa, starting with Rwanda through Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa (BCIEA) Inc.
Although breast cancer remains the most diagnosed cancer among women worldwide; survival rates are much higher in developed countries than in in low income countries. Whereas wide spread awareness and advances in medical research have shown that breast cancer is not a death sentence when discovered and treated effectively and timely, in East Africa, cultural and socioeconomic barriers limit timely, appropriate and high quality care; as a result African patients present their disease at late stages of progression when treatments are more limited and less effective.
BCIEA uses awareness as the primary weapon against breast cancer given the myths, misinformation and stigma that surround this disease. BCIEA has developed culturally appropriate educational materials, tools including a Mobile Application accessible on Smartphones to revolutionalize awareness campaign in Rwanda and beyond. BCIEA provides workshops, Seminars and outreach activities for adults and youth. Our latest innovation, Fighting Breast Cancer One Smartphone per Village Program is gaining momentum as we train, empower volunteer, village ambassadors to share life-saving information in their own space.