Prioritizing Women’s Health in the Workplace – Update from Salvador, Brazil
Guest post from Tauane Araujo Cruz, Regional Manager, Latin America
On March 08, 2013, Susan G. Komen and Odebrecht Organization, one of Brazil’s leading multinational companies, joined efforts to promote healthy lifestyles. Odebrecht is a Brazilian conglomerate operating a number of businesses in the fields of engineering, construction, chemicals and petrochemicals. Odebrecht’s operations reach over 60 countries boasting a workforce of more than 150,000 employees.
At Odebrecht’s headquarters in Salvador, Bahia, Komen’s in-country representatives Maisa Porto and Selma Mosquera met with employees to talk about risk factors for breast cancer and the importance of understanding the four key breast self-awareness messages. Statistics from the National Cancer Institute projected nearly 53,000 new cases of breast cancer in Brazil in 2012. In 2010 more than 12,700 women and 147 men died from the disease. Komen’s programs in-country have focused on improving awareness and education, building the capacity of local NGOs, and promoting early detection.
After 6 years of dedicating these efforts to low-income communities in Sao Paulo, thanks to the unwavering commitment of Komen supporters, we were able to expand our work to the state of Bahia in the northeast region of the country where cancer is impacting 27 out of every 100,000 women (INCA). This is personally rewarding for me as a native of Salvador, to know that our lifesaving efforts are impacting the communities where I grew up and the people I once called neighbors.
In the past 2 years, Komen has invested approximately $800,000 in grants and education programs and initiatives focused on promoting prevention
and early detection to down-stage the disease in Brazil. Complementary to these efforts, the Workplace Awareness Program allows us to meet women where they work and creates an opportunity for us to have a more direct impact on the decisions they make for their health and the health of their families. We believe that a healthy employee results in a healthy workforce, which in turn results in healthy communities.
Komen also collaborates with NGOs and professional societies, participating in panel discussions and contributing to the advancement of breast cancer initiatives throughout the country. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Odebrecht and many other corporations in Salvador and throughout Brazil to encourage women to take action for their health, their family and their future.
About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.