15 October 2020 Volume :8 Issue :44

Medical Student Part of World Breast Cancer Awareness Drive

Medical Student Part of World Breast Cancer Awareness Drive
UKZN Medical student, Mr Mohamed Hoosen Suleman.

Second-year Medical student, Mr Mohamed Hoosen Suleman has joined the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association’s (IFMSA) Small Working Group (SWG) to drive the campaign for World Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Of 190 applications by Medical students worldwide, only 10 were shortlisted.

Each year in October, the medical community marks World Breast Cancer Awareness Month with many projects and campaigns to inform and educate the public about breast cancer. Alongside members of the SWG, Suleman prepared a month-long campaign for members of the IFMSA.

The initiative, dubbed InkOctober, calls on IFMSA members to submit their pieces and work related to breast cancer, to support to the campaign and show solidarity with breast cancer survivors.

The SWG brings together passionate and dedicated members to plan, initiate, and co-ordinate the campaign. Through IFMSA channels, medical and public health students globally are encouraged to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions about breast cancer. Among other activities, the project entails online engagement through the official IFMSA channel, two webinars by Suleman and the team, posters, artistic work, and awareness strategies.

Suleman said, ‘Breast cancer awareness is very important if we aim to reduce the incidence and burden of the disease. It is imperative that we also focus on strategies that contribute to early detection, treatment, and palliative care. Another goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to advocate for robust research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of breast cancer.’

The SWG has three primary objectives:

1. To enhance the knowledge base of specific target groups regarding the different medical aspects of breast cancer, including current statistics and epidemiology, risk factors, the negative public health impact, treatment, and prevention.

2. To encourage the broader medical community to develop and implement activities for breast cancer awareness and support breast cancer patients and survivors.

3. To promote healthy lifestyles and non-communicable disease programmes through sharing resources and discussions with experienced activity co-coordinators.

The group has compiled a manual that will be published by the IFMSA. It equips the reader with knowledge and skills on screening, treatment, and prevention of breast cancer, the psychosocial impact, myths, and breast cancer in the time of COVID-19.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied

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