Breast Health Screening
Breast Health screening
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), breast cancer is
The most common cancer in women, no matter their race or ethnicity.
The most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women.
The second most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
These data is not only bleak, it calls for immediate action. In addressing this problem, that also happens to coincide with part of our mission of “ensuring a healthy community”, the association, courtesy of one of its members, Dr. Martin Ojong-Ntui, collaborated with the George Washington University and organized a Breast Health Screening event that was open to the public.
Please see event report below.
Comprehensive report on Breast Health Screening organized by MECA DC in partnership with the George Washington University held at the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church on July 24, 2014
Fulfilling part of our mission of “ensuring a healthy community”, the association, courtesy of one of its members, Dr. Martin Ojong-Ntui, collaborated with the George Washington University and organized a free Breast Health Screening event that was open to the public.
Sensitization, Mobilization and Recruitment
Sensitization and mobilization for the event was conducted in collaboration with the All Cameroonian Cultural and Development Foundation (ACCDF), through web postings, group announcements, posters and word of mouth. Inclusion/exclusion criteria defined by the George Washington University were as follows:
Must be 40 years or older
Must not be experiencing abnormal breast pain or have felt a breast lump
Must not be pregnant
Do not have breast implant
Have not had breast surgery or biopsy.
Registration for the event required the completion of an intake form, responding to personal information and gynecologic history. Once the form was completely filled and the above criteria were met, a 15 minute appointment slot was allotted. For the event to take place however, a minimum of 15 eligible participants were to be registered but the number should not exceed 22. We successfully enrolled 20.
The Mammovan (the van equipped for the event) arrived at the premises at 8:45 am. The first participant was scheduled for 9:30. By 9:00 am, the event coordinators, Drs. Ojon-Ntui, Agbor-Enoh and Agbor were on hand to ensure that the event went without a hitch.
Participants were led to the van for the procedure as they arrived. The last scheduled participant arrived at 3:30 pm. In the meantime, some community members who had just heard of the event but had not pre-enrolled, walked-in hoping to receive the service. The organizers expressed their regret stating that they had to be pre-enrolled in order to receive the service.
Expected enrollment minimum: 15
Attended and received service: 16
Success rate: 80 percent
Walked in but did not receive service: 3
Follow-up calls were made to those who enrolled but failed to attend. One (1) reported a family medical emergency that morning. Two (2) were unable to obtain permission from their jobs and one (2) did not have a ride to come.
The sensitization and mobilization campaign went quite well. Based on anecdotal reports, the message reached most members of the community for which it was intended.
Day of the week: The event was held on a Thursday between the hours of 9 and 3 pm. Most of those who called during pre-enrollment complained about the day and as a result, did not enroll. However, we could not overcome this constraint because the mammovan is not allowed out of the university on the weekends.
Conclusion and acknowledgements
We would like to thank the George Washington University for availing us with this service. We are also thankful to Rev. Burris, pastor of the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church for gracefully providing the church premises for the event and his offer and willingness to host like events. We also thank everyone who helped in their own way, to disseminate information regarding the event. We intend to build on this success with more community health activities.
Solomon Agbor Ph.D