Israel

Breast Cancer Prevention Among Charedi Women

Breast Cancer Prevention Among Charedi Women

This project aims to teach ultra-Orthodox Charedi women how important it is to regularly examine their breasts for any changes. What seems self-evident in the European context is very daunting for Charedi women. Campaigns for breast cancer prevention must therefore be appropriately sensitive. Local health professionals of the Bishvilaych Association organisation conduct training courses with a great deal of sensitivity and cultural awareness, which show increasing acceptance. Behind closed doors, far away from men, social networks and cameras, but with great success.

Situation in Place

“The complexity of Jewish women's lives today, influences their ability to engage in even essential self-care”, says Sara Siemiatycki, Founder of our partner organisation Bishvilaych. “The numerous responsibilities of work, family, home, and community as well as individual and cultural sensitivities often make accurate information gathering, check-ups, screenings, and medical follow-ups difficult or unfeasible. With regards to breast cancer the greatest challenge is that of fear: Women fear that any cancer will cause them to die. Bishvilaych has recognized the need to normalize the topic and speak about breast health in general and not focus exclusively on breast cancer”. Quoting Sara Siemiatycki further: “We have succeeded in reaching out to women and discuss this topic openly and promote adherence to screening tests and self-breast examinations.

The second challenge is that the system relies on mammography as the only tool for the screening of breast cancer, implicitly playing down the importance and responsibility of self-breast health awareness for women. Within the DearMamma campaign, we try to establish breast health awareness for the Charedi population by educating and empowering each woman to be aware of her responsibility of self-breast health awareness monthly, and, going to the doctor yearly, from the age of 20, and to make a personalized risk assessment for screening protocols."

Project Testimonial

The campaign is allowing us to reach multitudes of women, who are then also acting as ambassadors of health to the women they care for, educating and empowering them to be aware of the breast cancer issue and how they must care for themselves. Stressing the issue of early detection ultimately saves lives.

Sara Siemiatycki

is the founder of the organization Bishvilaych, which is the first and only women-lead, non-profit, organization focusing on medical care and health promotion for Jewish Charedi women in Israel.

Other Projects

On-site health professionals work for local projects to educate women about breast cancer and show them options for identifying potential problems early on (among others with the help of the DearMamma app).

Burkina Faso

Locally organised awareness programmes.

Liberia

Meeting the people where they are.

Ethiopia

Raising awareness among medical staff.

Palestine

Education despite cancer taboo.

Switzerland

Raising awareness among medical staff.

TEST

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