World Cancer Day is an international day marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. This year we celebrated it in our Rex Center in Fianarantsoa with our entire team.
Other than the general public, which included mostly mothers and young students, the “Fanilon’i Madagascar” Scouts attended the event, as well as some clubs like JCI, Soroptimist and the Young Leaders.
Many local authorities also participated:
Mr. Honore – Vice Mayor
Ms. Soafara – Representing the DRS – Haute Matsiatra – Promoting Health in the Region
Doctor Raharinony Sylvestre – SDSP – Lalangina District
Professor Rabarijaona Mamy – Director of the CHU – Tambohobe Fianarantsoa
Ms. Mamisoa Tolojanahary – Superintendent of the Ankazondrana Prison – Fianarantsoa
Ms. Annick Chan Yock Lane – Region Manager for the South-West – Orange Madagascar
For the Malagasy Red Cross:
Mr. Solofo – Coordinator of the MRC in Fianarantsoa
Doctor Hanitra Radavindrason – National Coordinator of the Health activities for the MRC
For the Italian Red Cross:
Doctor Eliana Del Bianco – Delegate for the Italian Red Cross
The Rex team met up at 7:30 am for a final verification and to get the last instructions for the day. The public started arriving at around 8 am, while the celebration started at 9:30.
The day started with a session of breast self-exam in front of the Rex, animated by the Rex team, the Scouts, the Malagasy Red Cross volunteers as well as the members of the clubs who participated in the event. The entire public participated in this activity.
Afterwards, all the people in attendance went into the main hall for the opening speeches, or "Kabary", which marked the official start of the day. All the speakers focused on the importance of cancer prevention, especially for gynaecological and breast cancer, as well as on the importance of the Rex center in the Haute Matsiatra region.
Everybody addressed a word of THANKS to the Founder of this Project, to the Akbaraly Foundation and the La Vita Per Te NGO, both of which never stop involving the population in their awareness campaigns. All the speakers confirmed that they are ready to give us a hand and fight this disease together, without forgetting to thank the managers and the entire team for their commitment, solidarity and professional attitude.
Our thanks also goes to the Malagasy Red Cross and its volunteers for accepting to take part in this action and involve the population.
After discovering the theme of this year’s World Cancer Day: “We Can, I Can”, everybody was very happy to share this message with the world and celebrate this special day, knowing that every one of us should be more active in order to raise awareness and spread the message that we all received during this celebration.
A few people shared their stories and testimonials after the presentation. The public was extremely interested in these, because each had a personal message that they wanted to share.
The Scouts and the Young Leaders also animated the celebration, the Girl Scouts team also created a special song for this day! After a series of acts and fun activities, the team started receiving the women for the screenings.
Two tables were set up at the main entrance to receive the women and collect their data. Our operators, Angelot and Perline, dealt with the reception alongside the MRC volunteers. At the entrance, pink banners and flyers were distributed to the participants, as well as some little numbered cards in order to keep track of the number of patients in attendance.
After the reception, the women filled up the questionnaires necessary to follow our screening program: Pap smear and breast exam.
Two rooms were dedicated to the Pap tests, while two more were destined to the breast exams, with all our technicians working hard in order to avoid keeping the women waiting for too long. In addition, the Malagasy Red Cross volunteers were available every step of the way to help the women and accompany them to each room.
During this day of celebration our team managed to perform 29 Pap smears and 39 breast exams, moreover, some women will come back for the Pap test because they did not have the necessary requirements at the time.
The team finished working at around 1 pm, and then everybody came back after lunch for the Zumba session, which ended at 4:30 pm.
In a word, this celebration was simply memorable!
Congratulations to all the participants for the SOLIDARITY and THANK YOU TO OUR ENTIRE TEAM!