ICANSERVE Foundation participated in the 4th Annual South East Asia Breast Cancer Symposium (SEABCS) held at the Asia Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand on August 30-September 1, 2019. The gathering brought together patient advocates, medical experts, health officials, policy leaders, and cancer survivors from the region to share knowledge, best practices and collaborate in line with the theme “Empowering Patient and Provider in Building Capacity at the Primary Care.”
Carla Paras-Sison, head of Information and Media, delivered a presentation on ICANSERVE’s programs, Ating Dibdibin and OKtober, as examples of best practices in breast cancer advocacy and patient empowerment in the Philippines. She also spoke about ICANSERVE’s online groups on the Yahoogroups and Facebook platforms that have become the primary source of volunteers to continue the foundation’s advocacy.
As one of the Philippines’ prime civil society movers behind the recently passed National Integrated Cancer Control Act, the first law of its kind in South East Asia, founding president Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala was asked to share her experience on the implementation of cancer care legislation. She also sat on a panel with Mr. Azrul Mohd Kalib from Malaysia, former WHO and Malaysian Ministry of Health official Dr. Narimah Awin, and Ms. Allison Dvaladze of US-based WE CAN.
ICANSERVE volunteers Victoria Goboy Arjona and Giselle Arroyo also joined the 4th SEABCS as official delegates of the foundation.
SEABCS was organized jointly by Thai Breast Disease Society, Suandok Breast Cancer Network, Art for Cancer, Queen Sirikit Center for Breast Cancer and Foundation, Thailand Breast Cancer Community, Global Focus on Cancer, Breast Surgery International, and Heart to Heart Foundation.
The 5th SEABCS will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 17-19, 2020. The Philippines is set to host the annual capacity building event in 2021.