Battling Disease, Battling Prejudice

A woman undergoing a breast screening at a Health Day in Tiszabo, Hungary.
A woman undergoing a breast screening at a Health Day in Tiszabo, Hungary.

This week the Decade of Roma Inclusion initiative gives JDC a shout-out for its Campaign to Give Roma an Equal Chance Against Cancer in Hungary. Through its Women’s Health Empowerment Program, JDC, in partnership with the Open Society Roma Initiatives and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, has put on 40 health days throughout the country since 2007 and provided over 4,500 underprivileged women (60% of them Roma) with breast cancer screenings. In a state where Roma women are three times more likely to die from cancer as their non-Roma counterparts and there is a ten-year gap in life expectancy between the two populations, giving these women a chance at early detection and diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. By providing equal access to screenings and treatment for all women in Hungary, JDC is not only taking the battle against this life-threatening disease head on but also gradually changing long-standing attitudes against this minority population.



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