“As Samoa does not have a mammogram program and many people live in rural settings, it is so important to teach women how to check their breast properly, what new changes to look for and get them to take charge of their health.” —Catherine Zahrai, Samoa Cancer Society
Catherine Zahrai of the Samoa Cancer Society worked with Worldwide Breast Cancer to create a campaign to address the problem of symptom awareness in Samoa. Here is what Catherine says (and her photographs) about their month-long campaign:
Women village leaders were eager to learn and protect their village from cancer. They invited us to their communities to educate the women in their village and took posters to put up in their fale (house) and leaflets for the community.
Pictured below is Senior Community Nurse Siuomatautu Tapelu educating Samoan women using the materials.
Sei Pua day
Every year there is a day in Samoa where people wear Pua (frangipani flower) as part of donating to fight cancer and remember those lost to cancer. SCS staff visited many offices across Samoa to deliver breast cancer leaflets and Pua flowers. All government ministries were visited and many Cafes and other businesses.The photo attached is from the Attorney General’s department in Samoa (Catherine is on the far left).
We also worked with a very popular Samoan style exercise class called “Culture X.” The gym hosted an event for breast cancer. All participants wore pink to the exercise class and afterwards they were given leaflets and educated on the importance of being breast aware. They were asked to share them with family and friends.
Nurses and doctors have also been educated with the Worldwide Breast Cancer materials and we will cover more clinics long term as we plan to have this information shared throughout Samoa.
Catherine finishes by saying, “This material is great as it is bright and colourful and the lemon (or Tipolo as its called in Samoa) is very common and well known. The content draws people’s attention and they have really been interested to see that there are more symptoms than just a lump! Thank you to Worldwide Breast Cancer for helping us educate the women of Samoa!”
With a very special thanks to the translators:
Siuomatautu Tapelu, Senior Community Nurse at the Samoa Cancer Society
Dr Stanley Dean, Associate Dean of Oceanic University of Medicine (OUM)
Over 1000 posters and 1000 leaflets were printed as part of the Pinktober Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. Worldwide Breast Cancer is making the leaflets available for free.
You can download them by signing up to the Worldwide Breast Cancer Fighters list here.