Women in general do so much at the cost of their own well being so many times. Let’s be fair, let’s give credit where it’s due, especially in the form of respect, equity, opportunity and care.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar while officiating at the Pinktober Awareness, Rural Women’s Day and World Food Day Program in Ba.

Minister Akbar stated that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, World Rural Women's Day and World Food Day, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer and celebrate the lives of  rural women.

Minister Akbar stated that Fiji records up to 600 new cases of cancer every year.  “Fixity – seventy breast cancer surgeries and up to 130 breast cancer diagnoses in both men and women happen each year according to the Ministry of Health. This makes breast cancer the most common form of cancer amongst Fijian women as they make up 98% of breast cancer patients.”

She added that early detection methods for breast cancer include screening mammography, a clinical breast examination by a trained health professional, and breast awareness. 

"Early detection is key in the treatment of breast cancer. The early detection of breast cancer in women is important for the effective management of the disease. Although there is no current treatment to prevent breast cancer, early detection of the disease can lead to an excellent outcome. This is exactly why women need to pay attention to their own selves first and foremost. Most women overlook and ignore what their bodies are trying to tell them. They prioritise everyone and everything else, except themselves. This is why families also have to look out for the wellbeing of their mothers, wives and daughters as well.”

"I would like to thank the REACH Project and the assistance of our stakeholder partners for providing free health checks and breast screening to underprivileged women".

Minister Akbar acknowledged the tireless efforts of all dedicated women in the rural community and challenges they face. "They play crucial roles ensuring food and nutrition security, eradicating rural poverty and improving the well-being of their families, yet they continue to face serious challenges as a result of gender-based stereotypes and discrimination that deny them equitable access to opportunities, resources, assets and services,” Minister Akbar said.
Adi Menani Vukivuki, a 74 year old cancer survivor residing in Ba said " My message to all women and girls is simple, Early Detection Save Lives.”  She thanked her family members and the church members for their support.

Simialar sentiments were shared by 62 year old, Arina Devi who thanked Minister Akbar and her Ministry for providing medical checks.

Minister Akbar explained that the REACH program has brought free medical checkups to women and girls and that the people of Ba should take advantage of this opportunity.

" I would like to thank my Ministry staff,  the REACH Team, Medical Services Pacific and Project Heaven for providing this awareness and services to the women and girls".