The 2014 National Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign launched with the support and under the patronage of Lama Tammam Salam

Pink and ribbon Balloons released at the end of the event

The Ministry of Public Health with the support of Mrs. Lama Tammam Salam launched from the Grand Serai the 2014 National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign entitled: ‘She reminds you of everything…Remind her of the Mammography’. The campaign was launched in collaboration with Roche and the support of the Lebanese Order of Physicians, Order of Pharmacists, order of nurses, syndicate of hospitals, other scientific societies and the National Breast Cancer Committee.

The campaign chose to adorn the Grand Serail with the pink color where ribbons were hanged inspiringly on the courtyard’s Olive trees labeled ‘trees of hope’ while thousands of pink balloons were released in honor and appreciation of all women who underwent mammography last year and as an encouragement for women to do the same this year. The launching ceremony was attended by Mrs. Lama Salam and the Minister of Public Health H.E.M. Wael Abou Faour, and a number of current and former Ministers and Deputies with their wives along political, social and media figures.

The support for the cause this year was reflected by the commitment of men in spreading awareness about the disease to get the word out and support women in their lives. Breast cancer is traditionally thought of as a “woman’s issue” and- by and large, it is. Yet that doesn’t mean a breast cancer diagnosis only affects women. In reality, men are also impacted by the disease, whether it’s their spouse, sibling, relative or friend who’s battling it.

“I am extremely honored and pleased that we are launching the awareness month from the Grand Serail, the landmark of culture, civilization, history and national identity, to support breast cancer patients,” said Mrs. Salam in honor of the breast cancer awareness. “Breast cancer is not just a National health and social concern; it is a caring message of hope providing safety and security for citizens to defend their dignities.

HE Minister of Public Health Wael AbouFaour also commented: “For 14 consecutive years, the Ministry of Public Health has raised tirelessly the flagship of breast cancer awareness through its relentless support of women. It is our duty to create a health culture among women while promoting disease awareness to reduce fear factors. This process should begin in schools, universities, homes and religious places to provide all information related to the disease, its evolution and the factors leading to early detection and prevention. Research has consistently demonstrated that early detection can greatly reduce complications, thereby giving women more treatment options and a greater chance at survival. The need to stress on continued and targeted education for future generations of women is highly essential to help save both lives and long term treatment costs”.

Abed Al Rahman Sabra, Country Manager for Roche Lebanon, praised the significant role this campaign is playing in terms of raising women’s awareness and knowledge of breast cancer, “over the past years, this campaign portrayed Roche’s mission to reach out to as many women as possible in order to spread the word and educate people about breast cancer. We are pleased to be able to team up once again with the Ministry of Public Health to encourage early screening for better prognosis of this life-threatening disease, because early detection can save lives.”

The nation-wide awareness campaign is set to run for three months enabling women to gain access to discounted mammography exams which will remain available till end of December 2014. Participating private hospitals and medical centers across Lebanon will reduce their mammography fees to L.L. 40,000 whilst government hospitals will offer free mammograms during the entire phase of the campaign.

To expand the outreach of the core message to a wider target audience and impact more lives, the national committee of experts announced that the annual national program will involve more public lectures with municipalities and women NGOs that will be organized by the medical societies and the cancer patient support groups.

The campaign will also be promoted through educational leaflets and various media outlets including links on all leading Lebanese online portals and news sites. Last but not least, a special thanks goes for the ongoing support of the media and journalists who have been assisting this campaign with delivering and spreading the awareness message behind it.