Although breast cancer is thought primarily to affect developed countries, almost 50% of breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries according to the World Health Organisation. One in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and it is increasing in developing countries where the majority of cases are diagnosed in late stages.

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GE Healthcare’s is committed to personalised breast care solutions and offers a portfolio of technologies, insights and services to help meet the unique breast care needs of all women, especially those with elevated risks. In  2012, GE dedicated $1-billion of its healthcare research and development budget through to 2020 to extend its capabilities in oncology.

As a global supporter of breast cancer awareness month initiatives in October, GE Healthcare leaders from Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) met the Minister of Health in Cameroon as well as potential customers in the healthcare sector to discuss GE’s  short- to medium-term projects in the country.

The GE team in Cameroon held a Breast Cancer Awareness Day at their office on October 28 where Dr Mananga from the General Hospital of Yaounde spoke about how to detect and prevent breast cancer. In addition, there were ppractical demonstrations encouraging women to do self-examinations, which included how to detect irregularities in breast tissue.

Breast Cancer Awareness

The GE teams in Ghana and Nigeria took a somewhat different approach and decided to have some fun during their combined Breast Cancer Awareness initiative. The teams had a cook-off breast cancer fundraiser where food prepared by the two teams would be judged and event sponsors could then bid for the food in an effort to raise funds for breast cancer awareness campaigns.

Both offices raised $3,518 for breast cancer awareness programmes.

The GE Nigeria Health Ahead Hub of the Women’s Network with AAF Health Ahead also organised several events to raise employee awareness and to raise funds for breast cancer. In Port Harcourt, ladies participated in a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk organised by the African Health Development Initiative. In Lagos, the GE team sold pink, helium-filled balloons to their fellow colleagues and a radiologist turned a meeting room into a makeshift examination room, and using GE ultrasound machines, she examined 33 women, and answered their questions.

Breast Cancer Awareness

On the last Friday of what became known as “Pinktober”, all employees were dressed in pink and there was an educational talk about breast cancer by an oncologist from a cancer NGO known as Run for A Cure. The money raised through these initiatives was donated to for Run for A Cure. GE Women’s Network Co-Lead for SSA, Adesua Dozie, explained GE’s commitment to creating innovative breast cancer awareness programmes:

We know how important breast cancer education is in our region and we are proud of the work our teams are doing to educate their colleagues and friends about this disease. We also appreciate the Ghanaian and Nigerian offices taking an unconventional approach and having a little fun along the way. We work hard at GE and encourage our teams to enjoy themselves whenever they can.

This post originally appeared on GE Reports.

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