Awareness building exhibits on cancer

It’s an outreach program that aims to give people with cancer the opportunity to be diagnosed at the earliest and make treatment available in the shortest possible period. That is the only way to maximize chances of survival and a better quality of life. At its core, it is a mix of public events, awareness activities and workshops by experts, all aimed at explaining the different types of cancer to the general population. Run by Roche in Saudi Arabia it is carried out in partnership with the ministry of health (MoH) in order to optimize its reach.

“In Saudi Arabia, as in many other countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and colorectal cancer (CRC) in men. According to the National Cancer Registry, breast cancer has the highest incidence among all cancers types in Saudi Arabia, followed by CRC. Therefore, there is a high focus on these cancers. However, many cancers still remain undiagnosed and awareness is poor. It is with this in mind that we started the Outreach Project with an emphasis on raising awareness and improving screening, starting with breast and colorectal cancer,” explains Hussam Tulba, Outreach Project Manager.

As part of this project in April this year the Roche Saudi Arabia team arranged a CRC awareness campaign in Jeddah on the west coast of the country. It was organized at one of the largest and most visited malls in the city. Over four days more than 10,000 people visited the exhibits put up to bring attention to the second most common cancer type in the country.

Program of four parts

“For this event we partnered with the ministry of health and the campaign was designed in a unique manner comprising of four distinct parts. The focus was on bringing information in an easily understandable fashion to the common man,” says Tamer Adel, Market Access Manager.

Awareness stations were set up in the mall facilitated by the MoH. These stations had different themes such as healthy diet program, anti-smoking, healthy lifestyles, vital signs and blood glucose measurement and information on the corona virus. Roche also had a significant booth presence related to colorectal cancer and a medical oncologist was at hand to answer questions from the public.

Finally, the very popular inflatable colon was available for visitors to walk through and be shown the advancement of polyps from the benign stage to becoming malignant. A colorectal cancer survivor also participated in the program to share his experiences.

“The participation was really encouraging for us and this showed that information could be disseminated in an easy to understand fashion at such events. We also used local TV, radio and newspapers to spread the word and used the internet to deliver key messages. The Outreach Project is our commitment to the local community,” points out Samer Hazem, Communications Manager.

Tags: Access to healthcare, Sustainability, Society