Name of the activity: Breast Cancer Awareness Walk
Country/NMO: GaMSA Gambia
Program: Healthy Lifestyles & Non-Communicable Diseases
Contact information: contact [email protected] to get in touch with the Activity Coordinator
Type of the activity: First-time Activity
Focus area: Cancer
Sustainable Development Goals addressed: SDG 3 (Good health and well-being), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 17 (Partnerships)
The Breast Cancer Awareness Walk just as the name implies, is organised with the sole aim of raising awareness about the said disease on a national level. It is a day activity that brings together medical and other students, as well as health workers and people from all works of life, to partake in a march past and sensitisation event geared towards addressing Breast cancer with emphasis on incidence and prevalence, fatality rate, risk factors, screening, and other preventive methods.
According to the latest WHO data published in 2020, Breast Cancer Deaths in Gambia reached 26. For a country considered as the smallest in mainland Africa talk less of Globally, this number is beyond significant. The incidence of Breast Cancer continues to be on the rise and sadly enough, many individuals report to the hospital when the cancer has reached an advanced stage. Thus, such an activity is a need that targets to sensitise the general public especially the women at risk of it all.
- Other Students
- Elderly people
- General population
- Medical students
- Healthcare Students
- Other Students
- Elderly people
1) To educate the audience especially at-risk population about breast cancer using indigenous languages, with emphasis on risk factors and prevention.
2) To educate the audience on how to do step by step self breast examination by demonstrating such before them.
3) To identify individuals with breast abnormalities through conducting screening on ground, and then referring them to the hospital accordingly.
4) To ensure various media coverage of the event so as to reach out to a significant percentage of the nation through broadcasting.
5) To empower medical and other students to become breast cancer advocates in their communities and day to day lives as health personnel and individuals respectively.
Indicators of Success:
1) At least 3 Non-English speaking audience being able to ask questions in their local language or answer evaluation-based questions in their local language in addition to those conversant with English.
2) A non-medical student volunteer from the audience being able to demonstrate self breast examination and the audience validating it or pointing out at least one mistake.
3) Being able to conduct breast cancer screening for at least 20 individuals.
4) Having at least one physical and one online media coverage (TV specifically) and having the event broadcasted by both.
5) 25% of the Medical students in attendance becoming advocates at hospital and community level whilst 2 students from each represented secondary school convey the message back to their colleagues.
The activity generally includes three separate portions: March past/walk, sensitisation, and free breast cancer screening. A march past is conducted in a populated area accompanied by a scout band to draw the attention of the public towards the events. During this process, leaflets highlighting key information about breast cancer are randomly handed out to people to give them a clue about the disease. A sensitisation and free screening is then held at the destination after the walk, where doctors take turns to talk about breast CA in english and indigenous languages for an understanding by all. Self-breast examination is demonstrated by a senior medical student and the entire activity lasts for about 7-8 hours.
The event is mainly spearheaded and coordinated by SCORA-GaMSA and UniGaMSA, whilst Medicare clinic and PANAFYL came in as partners or collaborators. Thus, each body played a specific duty as earlier stated and the event was a huge success. Sustainability is yet to be finalised
Plans for evaluation:
1) Allocate a Q/A session where the audience will be allowed to ask questions and give feedbacks and equally, facilitators to ask one or to questions to gauge the understanding of the audience.
2) Respectfully requesting for a volunteer who is not a medical student to demonstrate self-breast examination based on what was earlier demonstrated by a medical student and letting the audience decide how correct or faulty it is to assess the impact made.
3) Making a list of those who have been screened, indicating how many have been referred, and in fact referring them to the doctor conducting the screening so that a follow up is easier.
4) Enquiring from people who weren’t in attendance if they had watched the event on TV and asking what they learnt from or thought about it generally?
5) Having medical students in attendance discussing breast cancer on talk shows and incorporating advocacy into their day to day clinical activities, also to seek reports from other students present.
Name: University of The Gambia Medical Students’ Association
Type of support: Co-Organiser
Name: Medicare Clinic
Nature: Private Health Facility
Type of support: Banner, T-shirts, Leaflets on breast cancer (handed out to people randomly)
Name: Pan African Female Youth Leaders (PANAFYL)
Type of support: Chairs and Tents (used during sensitisation and screening)