The Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan (PNAM), in partnership with the Philippine American Medical Mission Foundation of Michigan (PAMMFM) and the Michigan chapter of the Filipino Cancer Network (FCN), conducted a project on breast cancer awareness (BCA) in Tacloban City, Philippines on Feb 6–10, 2017.
The BCA project was made possible by a grant provided by FILAMCCO (Filipino American Community Council) and the Eastern Michigan University.
There is an urgent need to make people in the Philippines aware of breast cancer. A research conducted by Dr. Tsu-Yin of Eastern Michigan University found out that there is high breast-cancer mortality among women in the Philippines.
PNAM was one of three organizations that received grants for breast- cancer awareness projects in the Philippines. The projects are aimed at empowering and educating Filipino women about breast cancer. It is hoped that awareness of the deadly disease may save the lives of Filipino women.
The PNAM missioners involved in the BCA project were PNAM advisers Dr. Aniceta Vista, Amy Risvold, Martha Cabarios, PNAM President-Elect Trinie Alair, Auditor Corazon Gabarda, Board Member Ellen Laboga and this writer.
But due to medical leave and conflict of schedules, Gabarda and I were unable to join the mission in Tacloban.
Doctor Vista, Risvold and myself attended a meeting on the BCA project budget allocation and planning.
PNAM advisers Risvold, Doctor Vista, Cabarios, Alair and Board Member Laboga travelled all the way from Michigan to Tacloban to implement the project.
On Day 1 of the project implementation, President-elect Alair and Board Member Laboga trained 10 health assistants and two registered nurses from different barangays on breast-cancer examination. They were later assigned specific tasks for the duration of the mission.
On Day 2-5, the trained volunteers started educating and screening patients for breast cancer.
A report on the BCA project implementation was unavailable at the time this article was being written because some of the key missioners were still in the Philippines.
I learned, however, that the project was a great success.