BRA -HA -HA Campaign

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), also referred to in America as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause and prevention .

The month of October is the month declared by the United Nations, UN as the Breast Cancer month. Breast cancer is a major disease all over the world, in 2012, 27,304 new occurrences were diagnosed, and the number of mortalities was 13,960. Greater than 70% of patients present with advanced disease, which has a poor survival outcome. The mortality rates are high mainly because of a lack of awareness about breast health, screening guidelines, and treatment centers, and because of socio cultural barriers. In Nigeria, health care professionals remain the backbone for the
provision of medical information to the public.

All over the world for the 2019 Cancer Month, breast health and cancer awareness were promoted. In Nigeria, Several Non Governmental Organizations, NGOs, carried out awareness campaigns in forms of health talks, walks, breast cancer screenings, radio and television interviews, and campaigns on social media. Anomalies noticed during the screenings were promptly referred to appropriate hospitals for additional treatment.

In Lagos State in 2015,the campaign culminated in the #12KLLP, or 12,000 people light Lagos pink, which was a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest human awareness ribbon formed for breast cancer. There was a total reach of 28,774,812 people across platforms: 285,318 were on social media, 3,620 were in communities, 7,466,276 were on the website, 20 million were through media events, 12,000 were through publications, 7,598 were verified participants at the Guinness World Record, and approximately 1 million were through blogs.

Eighty partnerships were made with various private and government institutions to facilitate different aspects of the campaign. The community members were able to learn about the need for early detection and awareness; volunteerism and corporate social responsibility were promoted among individuals and corporate institutions. The pink ribbon symbolizes breast cancer awareness. … The stage was set for the evolution of the breast cancer awareness ribbon.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has used the color pink since its inception in 1982. Lauder, who has died aged 75, created the pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer awareness with her friend Alexandra Penney, the former editor-in-chief of Self magazine, in 1992.

A visit to the women’s museum in Dakar, Senegal saw a different type of campaign tagged, Bra ha ha campaign. Where different bras designed by different artist were on displayed. It was so colorful and amazing. In an email interview with the Director Administrative and Public Relations, Madam Marie –Pierre Mbaye – Myrick , was asked the reasons for the use of bras for a breast cancer awareness campaigns?

Thank you for visiting the women’s museum and for your interest in our activities. Our last temporary exhibit is to give voice to various citizen on a difficult topic : cancer.

The idea of our exhibit “Jambaar”( the victorious), came from the event organized in Chesapeake, Virginia, USA : the idea is to promote early screening for breast cancer . So the bra is used to talk about breast cancer! 

At our museum we did not limit the artists to produce bra only but to give them the freedom to write poems or create a painting, etc. The curator, thought it will be educational to have the oral testimony of patient, doctors, activists .. So that is also something new compared to the original idea of bra-ha-ha in usa.

According to her, the Henriette Bathily, Women’s Museum, contributed to the awareness for early screening with this exhibit, allowing people to know that we can be victorious against cancer by early screening. Talking about a sad topic but with beautiful pieces of art !

When asked what the significance of the Bra haha exihibition to the creation of awareness on cancer, she said, the Brahaha® is a one-of-a-kind fundraising experience that celebrates survivorship and artistry. With a 38-C bra as their canvas, interested community members are challenged to construct unique and over-the-top designs using breast cancer as inspiration.

She said these humorous and heart warming masterpieces are unveiled at our annual Bra-ha-ha Awards Show and Auction, which serves as a fun tribute to those affected by breast cancer. The Bra-ha-ha encompasses a series of occasions, including the Awards Show and Auction, a week-long bra art exhibition, third-party philanthropy events and more, all with the aim to raise funds to improve breast health and breast cancer detection rates in the area’s under served population.

On Why the use of bra?  Marie – Pierre said because mainly on October its is breast cancer’s Month. And generally people know more about breast cancer than the others cancers. She also told our Magazine that the women’s museum and the curator Sophie Le Hire are the designers for the exhibition.

The Bra –ha- ha is an annual campaign in the fight against breast cancer sponsored by the Chesapeake regional health foundation, proceeds from the bra ha ha events provide breast health services. The  Bra-ha-ha campaign has raised nearly one million dollars since it began 11 years ago.

The funds it raises are used to provide breast health screenings to uninsured or under-insured community members and to fund advanced breast health technology. Female breast cancer is a major global public health concern, with an estimate 1,384,155 new cases worldwide,
over 459,000 deaths annually.

One thought on “BRA -HA -HA Campaign

  1. Great reportage, Veronica. It show-cased global reach and the contributions women are making towards ensuring better health for all women.
    Thank you too,for lifting up their voices in the fight against cancer

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