Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the middle east.
While this is also true for most countries, women from the Middle East have other barriers to overcome. For example, most women do not have immediate access to health care. The gender divide may also make it harder for a woman to get information or ask for help. This resulted to breast cancer being detected at a late stage. A stage when it may be too late to do something about it.
Lina Almaeena knows the struggles of the Saudi woman when it comes to access to health care education and treatments. As a member of the Shoura Council and co-founder of the Jeddah United Women’s Basketball Team, Almaeena is leading the charge against breast cancer. With the help of the country’s Ministry of Health, her team is organizing a slew of Basketball games to raise funds for the initiative.
The money will be used to fund the organization’s two projects. First, they want to raise awareness about the disease. They are targeting the vulnerable population of women over 40 years old. – the most at risk for developing breast cancer. Educating women on the risk factors, how to do a breast self-exam and knowing when it’s time to get help can save lives.
The second part of the campaign is to get early detection equipment closer to women. Access to health professionals and equipment is important in catching the disease early on. Both arms of this campaign give Saudi women what they need to triumph over breast cancer.
It was really good to see women coming out to support other women.
The event has a good turnout at the Al-lowharah Stadium. It began with an exciting opening game followed by a tournament between all participating teams. This year’s event has quite the turnout with the Colleagiate crowd in attendance. A sizable number of public and private universities in Jeddah has joined the fun with teams Dar Al-Hekma, the UBT and The Briefs leading the charge.
“The sports sector along with the health sector, volunteering sector and the charitable sector have all participated in organizing the event, which promotes a healthy and active lifestyle and investing in the energy of the youth in something that benefits them.“ said Almaeena.
In between the games, there will be activities for audience meant to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle. It aims to encourage more women to make exercise a part of their lives in order to prevent breast cancer. In addition, there will also be booths from different hospitals around the area in order to showcase the services they offer.
If you or family members live in the Middle East, be sure to check in on the Susan G. Komen Foundation Middle East for more information.