KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Etiqa has launched its Free Mammogram Programme – Phase 4, in partnership with the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM).
This is the fourth phase of Etiqa and NCSM’s commitment to address Malaysian women’s health, this time by providing free breast cancer screening for 6,000 underprivileged women, aged 40 and above.
The one-year, nationwide programme is worth RM2.04 million, and falls under Etiqa Cares, Etiqa’s flagship corporate responsibility commitment towards healthy living.
This follows the successful completion of Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 of Etiqa’s Free Mammogram Programme, whereby a total of RM6.53 million was contributed towards free mammograms that have benefitted 17,000 underprivileged women across Peninsular Malaysia.
Eligible women from communities around Malaysia were transported to the NCSM Centre in Kuala Lumpur, or appointed hospitals for free mammograms.
The partnership, which was first launched in July 2017, saw Etiqa and NCSM embarking on a journey to raise awareness on the importance of early detection in improving breast cancer survival rates amongst underprivileged women.
Unfortunately, the recent Covid-19 pandemic has brought upon us tight social distancing SOPs and movement restrictions among the public. The fear of contracting Covid-19 may have motivated people to stay home and self-isolate, causing them to choose to defer their screening.
Determined to ensure that Malaysians are educated on the importance of early detection of the disease, Etiqa and NCSM continue to support the government’s aspiration in reaching as many women as possible to sign up for the programme, in spite of the movement restrictions.
Getting screened for breast cancer is just as important as getting screened for Covid-19. Therefore, wherever possible, Etiqa will help to transport the women to available facilities for screening.
R. Karunakaran, Chairman of Maybank Ageas Holdings Berhad (MAHB), the parent company of Etiqa General Insurance Berhad, Etiqa Life Insurance Berhad, Etiqa General Takaful Berhad, and Etiqa Family Takaful Berhad expressed his confidence that Etiqa’s Free Mammogram Programme – Phase 4 with NCSM will continue to create a positive impact, as well as help spread awareness on the importance of breast cancer screening among underprivileged women, especially in these trying times.
“With Covid-19 being the focus right now in healthcare institutions, cancer screening has taken a backseat. Therefore, this is a timely reminder for women to focus on their health, and to take the opportunity to get themselves screened,” he said.
“Transportation will be provided, screenings are free, and the results will be shared soon after. Therefore, these women can now easily get screened even with movement restrictions in place.”
“Despite the challenging economic conditions that have led some corporates to scale back on their social initiatives, Etiqa, as a leading local insurance and takaful operator, continues to be as dedicated to serving our community as we are to serving our customers. “
“This is in line with our philosophy of humanising insurance and takaful. Through it, we are pleased to extend the philosophy to the community,” he added.
“Due to the pandemic, our hospitals and health facilities are currently more focused on Covid-19 cases. Because of this, most Malaysians, especially women, are unable to get access to cancer screening. This is especially detrimental to those at risk for breast cancer, which is the number one cancer among women in Malaysia,” Rafidah Aziz, the principal patron of NCSM said.
“Therefore, this free mammogram programme helps to empower and enable women at risk to be screened early, in low-risk settings, without congesting already overcrowded government facilities. We are proud and honoured that Etiqa, our partner, is committed as an entity to continue caring for Malaysians, especially during these current times that are most difficult,” she added.
NCSM works with local communities and NGOs across the country to identify underprivileged women for this free mammogram programme. Eligible women and interested community leaders are encouraged to call Adibah from NCSM at 03-2698 7300 for more enquiries.