“Most women hide… They think it’s a shame [to complain about illnesses] and that they must withstand pain instead. They feel bad telling their husbands that they are sick because they know that medical care will cost money, and their families do not have enough money.”
Women’s inability to request or pay for healthcare, let alone preventative screenings, was among the reasons why Women’s Centre “Prehja” decided to provide participants with information about methods for conducting self-exams for breast cancer within their own homes.
“The socioeconomic situation has put us in this condition. We have to think of every cent: how we are going to spend [the money] and how to get through the month,” said Naza, a participant.
On May 24, Prehja organized a lecture, entitled “Let’s Protect Our Health” at primary school Shotë Galica in Syriganë village of Skenderaj Municipality. Dr. Mejreme Maloku was on site, showing participants how to conduct self-exams. Women of all ages attended, from teenagers interested in being proactive to older women potentially at risk. Participants received information about operations and the chances of recurrence.
Afterward, women decided to go in groups to receive ultrasounds to test for breast cancer. They utilized information from Prehja and KWN to find funding for transportation to the hospital.
Prehja, located in Skenderaj, has organized various workshops and discussions for women suffering from breast cancer. The organization’s initiatives have received support from the KWN Kosovo Women’s Fund.