4th February is marked as the World cancer Day every year around the world. This year UICC had declared Support through Sport as the theme for the day promoting active lifestyle and being healthy. Cancer Society of Maldives also participated in this global campaign to raise awareness on cancer. This was the first year World Cancer Day was marked across all atolls in the Maldives.
We had prepared powerpoint presentations and awareness messages and sent to all schools and health centers/hospitals across the country along with additional material to be used in awareness sessions for students, parents and the general public. These were utilized in most of the islands and had helped us spread awareness around the country. Members from CSM and Cancer Support group had appeared on numerous TV and radio shows to talk about Cancer. We had also participated in the worldwide social media campaign “talking hands”, encouraging the public to take pictures with awareness messages on sports gear and posting on social media platforms.
The school activities for World Cancer Day included a lineart/doodle contest, #momentwithart open for all students. Submissions from this will be used to compile coloring books to present to childhood cancer patients in September, Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
To mark the day we had also organized a #WeCanICan Support through sport evening on 4th February from 4:00-6:00pm at Henveiru grounds in Male’. This program was carried out as a sports exhibition open for visitors to come and play different activities conducted by sports associations to raise money for the Cancer Society of Maldives through their respective sponsors.
While the sports activities were going on, awareness tables were set up at the sides to give information to people on general cancers, breast cancer, cervical cancer, oral cancer, skin cancer, childhood cancers and nutrition. In addition to these, Society for Health Education (SHE) had also set up an information table.
18 sports associations/fitness groups and 15 sponsors had been part of the program. The event was broadcasted live on Channel13 and was visited by the Minister of Youth and sports, Ms Iruthisham Adam, Minister of Health, Mr Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim, other government officials, cancer survivors, members of CSM and other NGOs, students from schools and people from the general public.
In addition to this Cancer Society of Maldives support group had separate activities to mark their 1 year anniversary since its formation on World Cancer Day 2016. Their World Cancer Day had started with a group yoga session at Rasfannu led by a yoga instructor from the Indian Culture Club. Afterwards they had visited all patients admitted at IGM Hospital with gift baskets.
We would like to thank all the sports associations and fitness groups that had joined us for the #WeCanICan Supportthroughsport event, all the sponsors who had so generously supported our cause, SHE and healthcare professionals who had assisted us by providing information to the public at the awareness tables and all the volunteers without whom we could not have carried out the event so smoothly. Thank you!
We would also like to thank media for their support in spreading our messages, Maldives Artist Community for assistance in the #momentwithart contest, IGM Hospital for allowing our Support Group members to celebrate their 1 year anniversary by visiting patients at the hospital.
World Cancer Day 2017 marked the 1 year anniversary of the Cancer Support Group initiated on World Cancer Day 2016. Support Group marked the day by doing morning exercises, having breakfast together and visiting patients at IGMH.
Cancer Society of Maldives organized a #WeCanICan Support through Sport event to mark #WorldCancerDay on 4th February 2017, 04:00pm to 06:00pm at Henveiru Stadium. We partnered with Sports Associations to organize different Sports Activities at the venue.
Associations who took part in the event were Table Tennis Association of Maldives, Football Association of Maldives, Athletics Association of Maldives, Badminton Association of Maldives , Cricket board of Maldives, Swimming Association of Maldives, Tennis Association of Maldives, Carrom Association of Maldives , Netball Association of Maldives , Handball Maldives, Heat Health & Fitness, 3000-TfG , Ayoga Fitness, MAD Runnersand Indian Cultural Centre - Maldives
Special thanks to our sponsors DHIRAAGU, Bank of Maldives, Bison Travel Maldives, Pyramid, Stelco Recreation Club, #Maldivain State Trading Organization PLC (STO), Ooredoo Maldives , DAMAS, Kaani Hotels , Hotel Jen Malé, Maldives, M7 Maldives, Event Maldives Pvt. Ltd; who partnered with us to raise money through the activities conducted by the sports associations.
Cancer Society of Maldives partnered with Faisal Foundation to conduct Breast cancer Screening and Awareness for the people of K. Kaashidhoo and Gaafaru during the Medical camp organized by them from March 3rd-4th.
31 women from K. Kaashidhoo and 73 women for K. Gaafaru were screened for breast cancer during this 2 day Medical camp.
Thank you Mr. Faisal for giving us this opportunity and thank you all the doctors, facilitator, organizers and people of both islands for this successful program.
Cancer Society of Maldives (CSM) started Breast Cancer Screening camps in 2014 in collaboration with FEM Surgery of Mount Elizabeth Hospital Singapore. CSM and FEM has jointly agreed to conduct two screenings annually and to screen the populations of the outer atolls of the Maldives. So far three camps have been conducted and have covered four atolls out of 20 atolls. The initial screening camp was in Addu Atoll in Feruary 2014., and covered all five islands of Addu Atoll. The other two camps were in April 2015 in Haa Alif and Haa Dhaalu Atolls and in October 2015 in Baa Atoll, and in 2016 we repeated Addu atoll. We decided to do a repeat screening in Addu atoll because the prevalence of breast cancer in Maldives is highest in Addu Atoll second to Male’ where the services are available. We select atolls for the screening programs based on the prevalence of breast cancer atoll wise.
The screening program is open for all women of 30 years and above ages in the Atoll, and women with a family history, where it is advertised for women to pre-sign up for screening. To check for breast cancer, first a clinical breast examination is done and if advised by the doctor, a breast ultrasound scan is done to further investigate suspected cases. After the breast scan, the doctor will further advise patients to go for a mammogram or a biopsy for further investigation and confirmation of a diagnosis. Only a few regional hospitals have mammograms and for any further investigation patients have to travel. For mammograms and biopsy, patients have to travel to Male’ (capital city of Maldives), India or SriLanka. The team comprised of three doctors from Singapore, three doctors from Male’ and four nurses from Singapore. Three excom members of CSM formed part of the team. During the three-day program, screening was done in Maradhoo Health Centre, Hithadhoo Regional Hospital and in Hulhumeedhoo Health Centre. A total of 558 women were screened, and those required to do follow up was advised to go for follow up tests to Male’.
This year the first screening with the FeM Surgery team was conducted in GDh atoll from 6th April to 8th April 2017. Unlike other screening trip with the FeM Surgery team, this year we had included Oral Cancer Screening as well. Oral Cancer Screening was carried out in partnership with Maldivian Dental Association. According to the data that we have, Oral Cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the Maldives. Breast cancer awareness sessions are conducted along with the screening programs to all the people who come to get screened and leaflets with signs, symptoms and self-examination techniques outlined were distributed to the rest of the population through the health centres and hospital. One facilitator fromG.Dh Atoll who were trained by CSM in 2015 conducted some of the awareness sessions.
GDh Atoll is one of the Southern-most atolls of Maldives. The three day screening was done in Thinadhoo, which is the capital of GDh atoll for 2 days and in Faresmaathoda for a day. In GDh Thinadhoo the screening was done in Dr Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital which is the regional hospital for Huvadhoo Atoll area. The area also has a very accessible ferry system which makes it convenient for people from other islands to visit the Regional Hospital.
In the 2 day screening at GDh Thinadhoo 200 people were screened for breast cancer and 138 people were screened for Oral Cancer. During Faresmaathoda Screening which was done in the Faresmaathoda Health Center, 124 people were screened for Breast Cancer and 126 people were screened for Oral Cancer. A total of 324 for Breast Cancer and 264 for Oral Cancer were screened over the 3 day program.
The FeM surgery team consisted of 3 doctors and 1 nurse while the Maldives team consisted of 2 doctors for Breast screening, 1 dentist for Oral Screening, 1 nurse as a facilitator for awareness sessions and 5 Excomm members. One of our trained facilitators from the island also joined to conduct few sessions in Gdh. Thinadhoo. The awareness sessions focused on Breast cancer and oral cancer as well.
During this trip, we had also met with cancer survivors and patients to establish a support group in that region.
Through these screenings we aim to screen as many people as possible and to educate even more on risk factors and symptoms.
Our aim in conducting the screening programs is to screen as many people as possible and help in early detection. Most of the people in the outer atolls have difficulty in accessibility to some health care services such as cancer screening.
Cancer Society of Maldives would to thank the 11 member team of Gdh Screening, without whom it would be difficult for us to do these screening trips. Thank you for you dedication to our society and your inspiring readiness to help others. We would also like to thank Amari Havodda, Benhaage (Thinadhoo), Small Island Village (Faresmaathoda) and Maldivian. Special thanks are given to the very dedicated staff of the Abdul Samad Memorial hospital and Faresmaathoda health centre for their effortless work in making this screening a success. I CAN WE CAN YOU CAN HELP PREVENT CANCER!
April is marked as the Oral Cancer Awareness month worldwide. According to Aasanda data, Oral cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the Maldives. This is why we had decided to initiate a one year Oral Cancer Awareness and Screening Campaign this April.
The BEAT Oral Cancer campaign is done in partnership with Maldivian Dental Association and State Trading Organization has partnered with us as the sponsor for the campaign.
This Campaign will consist of 2 main components; Awareness and Screening. Awareness will be done using different forms of mediums including TV, Radio and social media. We will also be using posters, flyers, leaflets and LED/LCD Screen messages. In addition to this we will be sending Presentations and additional information on Oral Cancers to be presented at schools, hospitals and health centers across the country. And we will be conducting awareness sessions in schools in Male’.
The screening component of the campaign will be carried out in Dental Clinics that have partnered with us. Dental Clinics have partnered with us are; IGMH Dental, ADK Dental, Medica Hospital, Hulhumale’ Hospital, My Clinic, The Clinic, Master Dental, 32 Dental, Vital Care, Smiles Dental and Unique Dental. The clinics have been given oral screening forms to be used during the free screening of all patients coming in for dental appointments.
Cancer has been on the rise in F. Bilehdhoo for the past few years. Particulalrly over the last few months childhood cancer has been increasing having 3 children under the age of 5 diagnosed over 2 months. This had spread a fear and worry among the people. Hence, F. Bilehdhoo council reached out to Cancer Society of Maldives to organize a screening and awareness trip to the island.
The screening trip to F. Bilehdhoo was conducted with initiative from F. Bilehdhoo learning center who has organized similar programs in the island before as well. The Cancer screening and awareness program was conducted from 11th May 2017 to 13th May 2017 with a 9 member team consisting of 3 doctors for breast clinical examination, 1 radiologist for breast ultrasound, 1 dentist for Oral Cancer Screening, 1 doctor to do awareness sessions and 3 Excom members.
We arrived at the island after a 2 hour launch ride over rough seas at around 3:30 on 11th May. Since our trip was a short one we had decided to start work right away. We had arranged for an awareness session for parents and students at 4:30. All of our doctors and excom members took part in the session talking on different topics. It included general cancer awareness with information on all the common cancers. It focused in more detail on breast and oral cancer. The session that lasted about 2 hours also included general health tips, nutrition and talks from 2 cancer survivors. After the first part of the session which was with powerpoint presentation, we had distributed the crowd into smaller groups and talked on different topics. The parents were taught proper breast self examination techniques and students were taught in futher detail about oral cancer and healthy eating including harms of supari, arecanut and energy drinks.
The screening sessions started the same night and continued over the next 2 days. A total of 116 people were screened for Breast Cancer and 175 people were screened for Oral Cancer. During this time one-on-one cancer councelling sessions were also done for people who had requested.
Another awareness session was carried out specially for mothers to talk about signs, symptoms and risk factors that could lead to different types of childhood cancers. This session also included a video presentation of breast self examintaion. Through these sessions about 200 people were given information on different topics.
Our screening and awareness was very well recieved by the poeple of F. Bilehdhoo with high percentage of the population attending the sessions and screening. We noticed that the poeple were very much in need of a service like this in a place where there is lack of doctors and information they need.
Cancer Society of Maldives and our team of doctors appreciate all the splendid arrangements made for us by the people of Bilehdhoo and the love and respect shown towards us. Among all of the screening and awareness trips we had done, this trip stands out as the best so far. We thank Bilehdhoo learning center, management and staff of bilehdhoo council, management and staff of Bilehdhoo health center and groups within the island who had come together to cook for us and the rest of the people of Bilehdhoo as well.
We would specially like to thank Mr. Shiyam, Head of Bilehdhoo Learning Center for taking the initiative to meet with us and arrange such a program for the poeple. It is with the support of such people that we can most effectively work towards minimising the impact of cancer within our country. Thank you!