Project – ” Prevention and early detection of breast cancer in Lezha Region” co-financed by
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hungary and Regional Council of Lezhe.
Hotel “Liss” Hotel, Lezhë on 15 October 2014
The Lezha Regional Development Agency (LERDA) presented the project: Prevention and early detection of breast cancer in Lezha Region. The kickoff meeting held on 15. October 2014, was held in front of an audience consisting on numerous participants, representatives from Public Health Directory Lezhe, Kurbin, Mirdite, Regional Hospital Lezhe, Kurbin, Rreshen, “World Vision”, leaders of regional institutions, and others.
This meeting was held in the framework of raising awareness over the spreading situation of the breast cancer in the Lezha Region, and was a product of a co-financing between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hungary, represented by the Hungarian Embassy in Albania and LERDA.
The Executive Director of the Agency Mr. Artan Gjoka, thanked the Regional Council’s Chairman, Mr. Pashk Gjoni, for initiating this project, and also thanked the Hungarian Embassy for the donation, through Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds. The importance of this project in the Region of Lezhe was emphasized, and especially in underprivileged regions where the project aims to spread.
Mr. Gjoni, from his view, emphasized that a strong impetus for this project is that the actual situation of breast cancer in the region is a growing trend with an increase of 18-20% compared to the year before according to a registration conducted by health care institutions, doctors, and colleagues of the major participants in the meeting. This project aims to increase the level of awareness not only among the female population in the region which is directly affected, but also among medical staff, about knowing this illness and the steps that should be taken in prevention and early detection.
The oncologist Dr. Bardha Gjoni, as an expert on the field, gave an overview of the regional situation, which is very disturbing for the female population in the age group of 40-60; the risk factors which can be the cause of breast cancer and ways to avoid these factors; and several statistics compared with EU developed countries, or within the region year by year. Under the project Dr. Gjoni implemented questionnaires with different age groups, regional women and medical personnel. Results from the questionnaire show the change in mentality of medical or self periodic exams from one age group to another, and also the level of information of the people involved. The Doctor also presented the goals, objectives, desired results and project activities, while she appealed for more cooperation to prevent and early detection of breast cancer.
From his behalf the Hungarian Ambassador Mr. Antal Heizel expressed his willingness during the implementation of the project, stressing that this is a pilot project, and through the willingness of the Hungarian Government, represented by the Hungarian Embassy in Albania this project can ensure a wide spread and greater impact not only in the region but also further. He expressed his interest in establishing other connections in the future, with the participation of other donators as well, including EU delegates in Albania, to ensure total fulfillment of the project’s objectives. The Ambassador was accompanied by the hosts of the meeting and local institutions representatives in the premises of the Regional Hospital of Lezhe, where the actual situation in the oncology department was discussed. Also lack of the mammographic machine was addressed as a big problem in this hospital because it hampers the job of doctors in fighting this illness.
The Regional Development Agency LERDA took care of the meeting details, by organizing an information campaign through leaflets or other promotional accessories, in stands near city center. The list of invitees included different regional health institutions, local governance institutions representatives, oncologists, NGO-s, local or national media representatives. The invitees were equipped with informative brochures on breast cancer and ways to prevent it by early detection.
This kick off meeting aimed to be a starting point for a long collaboration between involved parties and to give a clear view on the actual situation in Lezha Region, in terms of treating breast cancer, and to illustrate ways in which this situation could be improved by coordinating planned activities and involving all the interested parties in the project.