Mdm. Mary Alex Mansiw-Tek, the President of Sandakan Breast Health Awareness Committee briefed the students
IJMP’s trained estate medical personnel facilitate the breast self examination breakout groups for the students
Practising BSE right away - active participation from the students in SMK Beluran
Nurses from Duchess of Kent Hospital, Sandakan demonstrating BSE for the students
Breast Health Outreach for Schools, Beluran, Sabah – 11 Mar 2011
by Adeline Choy
Enhanced awareness on breast health must be inculcated in the younger generation today. This is important especially when breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst women in Malaysia, where 3 in 10 new cancers diagnosed in women will be breast cancer. With better understanding, the young girls will in turn be ambassadors and educate members of their families and relatives.
Recently, IJM Plantations Berhad continued with its public education programme promoting breast health awareness. The Group collaborated with the Sandakan Breast Health Awareness Committee and the Duchess of Kent Hospital. Together, they initiated their inaugural breast health outreach programme to one of the local secondary schools in the Beluran district outside Sandakan. The school which is located 75 km away from Sandakan town caters to some 1,500 students from different locations including islands and adjacent rural villages around Beluran-Sugut regions.
“We are honoured to be chosen as the first school to participate in this outreach programme, and we have been waiting long for such programme to reach to us,” said Madam Sukeshini, the principal of the school.
As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), IJM Plantations Berhad has been involved in breast health awareness related activities over the last 5 years in Sabah. The Group, a palm oil agricultural company based in Sabah has also been actively promoting eco-conservation, cultural heritage and rugby sport for school-children in Sabah.
The school outreach programme started with an introduction to palm oil and its nutritional values by Miss Adeline Choy from IJM Plantations. About 90 per cent of palm oil is used for food, and the rest is utilised in non-edible products. Palm oil has very high contents of Vitamins A & E and other antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties. Research is ongoing to understanding the positive effects of palm oil and breast cancer.
Madam Mary Alex Mansiw-Tek, the President for the Sandakan Breast Health Awareness Committee later provided an overview on breast cancer and introduced breast self examination (BSE) to the young girls. There were also breakout sessions on BSE. The nurses from Duchess of Kent Hospital and estate medical personnel from IJM Plantations facilitated the sessions. The programme ended with refreshments cordially provided by SMK Beluran. Mr Joseph Tek Choon Yee, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of IJM Plantations Berhad said that the Group is committed to the outreach programme to other schools in Sabah. “We will continue to work in close collaborations with NGOs and hospitals to promote breast health awareness. It is beyond philanthropy as we want our staff to be actively involved in reaching out to the surrounding community”.