Breast Cancer is the commonest cancer among women in Sri Lanka and its incidence has been continuously rising. Breast cancer is curable if detected early which makes preventive screening, early detection and awareness, imperative. October is globally recognized as “breast cancer awareness month” and the Cancer Society of Sri Lanka makes every effort each year to bring this topic to the forefront of Sri Lankans.
This year’s ‘breast cancer awareness month’ was impacted by the pandemic, causing a marked reduction in face to face and physical awareness activities. Despite the challenging times, AIA Insurance and the Sri Lanka Cancer Society joined hands to raise funds for and drive awareness about breast cancer. This year, AIA supported the Cancer Society’s ‘Pink Ribbon’ and bookmark sales through donation drives in its office and through AIA’s social media platforms. The funds from these bookmarks and ribbons benefit the Cancer Society and enable it to continue to serve the community. Due to the limitations caused by the lockdown in October, AIA has extended the donation drive till the end of the year, so employees can continue to support the Sri Lanka Cancer Society.
Given that so many Sri Lankans have adopted digital engagement and interactions, AIA also hosted a live webinar on Breast Cancer Awareness conducted by Dr. Sachini Malaviarachchi, Consulting Oncologist and Senior Lecturer at the University Hospital of the Kothalawela Defense University. The webinar which was streamed live on AIA Sri Lanka’s Facebook page had significant engagement with 25,000 views and was an effective way to educate people on this very important topic, despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic. The webinar was further promoted on AIA’s YouTube page and the Sri Lanka Cancer Society Instagram page with AIA purchasing a ribbon on behalf of every share.
AIA CEO Nikhil Advani noted, “As a company that promises to help people live healthier, longer, better lives, AIA is committed to fighting dreaded diseases like cancer. We are glad to partner the Cancer Society of Sri Lanka and support them. As we face the second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic, we must not lose sight of our battle against diseases such as cancer. Many Sri Lankans are bravely fighting cancer and the Cancer Society provides them with much needed support, care and strength to win their fight against this disease. We’re incredibly proud of the great work they and their volunteers do each day.”
Head of Marketing Shevanthie De Alwis added, “We want to remove the taboo that surrounds cancer and open up conversations so people can share experiences and hope, while supporting each other overcome the dreaded illness. We are happy to help in creating awareness on, opening up the conversation about and increasing the importance placed on prevention and early detection of breast cancer, which has the highest incidence of cancer in females, in Sri Lanka.