Sunday, March 6, 2016

CMZ B.R.A. (Bra to Raise Awareness) Campaign Project : THE ADVOCACY CONTINUES


The Ciudad Medical Zamboanga B.R.A. (Bra to Raise Awareness) Campaign Project is an innovative Breast Wellness and Breast Cancer Awareness advocacy project using brassieres, developed by the CMZ Breast Wellness Center to intensify breast awareness through community partnership. It was observed that even a year after the launching of the CMZ Breast Wellness Center last March 2012, a low level of Breast Cancer awareness continued to prevail in Zamboanga City wherein as basic as Breast Self Examination (BSE) was not a common knowledge and practice. Thus, CMZ felt the need to utilize Art, Education and Screening to increase and inspire breast awareness among the Zamboanga community through the creation and display of several Installation Artworks; and, to reach out to the barangay level, through its offshoot, the CMZ BRAngay Project. (BReast Awareness to neighborhoods, groups, associations and the youth).

THE NEED OR OPPORTUNITY
The Ciudad Medical Zamboanga Breast Wellness Center (CMZ-BWC) is well aware that Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers in the Philippines, the highest incidence rate in Asia and with very low survival rate of 40-50%. CMZ also recognizes that better disease awareness helps detect the disease at an earlier, thereby, more curable stage.
CMZ has been conducting lectures to private and public offices and organizations on Breast Cancer Awareness from March 2012 to 2013. However, succeeding pre-lecture surveys continued to show that that most women in Zamboanga City still have not heard about Breast Screening (more than 90%) or for those who have heard of it, they do not practice this (98%).
Among the gaps observed were:
1)  The program was low-key and traditional and focused on offices. This did not create a call to the community for its importance and need, thus, it did not gain significant impact for the Breast Wellness program; 
2)  The culture in Zamboanga City is conservative with a significant number of laid-back Muslim and Christian religious folks who do not want to talk about breast concerns. 
3)  Generally passive community in relation to health needs since invitations for lectures to barangays are usually not answered unless there is repeated communication or a follow-up with a community leader who will initiate such programs. 
4)  Fear of the community on reality, particularly on the topic of Breast Cancer. 

5)  Cost of care and economics.
6)  Zamboanga City Health Office has many other pressing health issues and needs, especially related to the Internally Displaced Persons from the Zamboanga City Siege in 2013, thus, this is not a priority program for the government sector even up to the present. 
A conversation with a nationally known Muslim artist brought about the idea of using Art to create breast awareness. During the brainstorming, the use of brassieres as Art medium was conceptualized, after which well-defined strategies were deliberated upon and designed to communicate and promote the advocacy to the community.
Thus, to address this concern, the CMZ-BWC developed the CMZ B.R.A. (Bra to Raise Awareness) Campaign Project with the ultimate goal of creating a highly innovative Breast Cancer awareness drive combining Healthcare Advocacy and Art.
CMZ BRAngay Project (its offshoot) was then developed to intensify promotion of Breast Cancer Awareness through education and screening, which are given for free to the Zamboanga City community.
STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS
The project’s intended audiences are as follows:
1)  For the Art-related initiatives, the general public in agencies, malls, supermarkets and schools and City Park to recognize the value of being informed of the Advocacy. 
2)  Women from Zamboanga City as early as 15 years old to 65 years old are the primary targets for lectures, whether they are gathered by schools, organizations or barangays. 
3)  Patients and survivors as partners to help inspire and promote early detection. 
4)  Health professionals especially CMZ workforce (physicians and employees) as stimulus and driving force of the project through participation in the Art and Education/ Screening initiatives and as ambassadors to help spread reliable information on Breast Cancer. 
5) Policy makers and key opinion leaders from the City Government and private organizations for use of government and private facilities for special projects and to inspire them to be involved as their influence can help widen the reach for the advocacy. 
6)  Media for dissemination of the advocacy to the general public within and outside of Zamboanga City. 
7) Other sectoral groups (youth) and professions (teachers, government office workers), to address common or shared concerns of specific target groups. 
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Specifically, the CMZ B.R.A. Campaign Project with the CMZ BRAngay Project aims to attain the following objectives.
1)  To involve CMZ workforce units in the hospital by participating in 80% of the activities 
2) To involve partner institutions in the Zamboanga City community for the CMZ B.R.A. Campaign Project activities. 
3) To create public BRA installation artworks displayed in strategic areas to capture the interest of the community and draw them to the purpose of the advocacy; 
4)  To utilize traditional media and social media to share about the public installation artworks to extend the reach of the advocacy and more importantly, to convey the essence of the advocacy. 
5)  To conduct breast awareness lectures and breast screening to the Zamboanga City community, prioritizing barangays, urban poor and rural groups but also including organizations, government and privates offices and schools.
THE SOLUTION OVERVIEW
CMZ acknowledged that promotion of Breast Cancer Awareness is a challenge and would require intensive efforts in the Zamboanga City community, thus, an awareness strategy interweaving Art and Breast Education with Screening may produce a more tangible effect for the advocacy.
To realize the objectives, the CMZ BRA Campaign Project sought to recognize the role of CMZ and the stakeholders through the following strategies:
1)  Development of the initiatives by the CMZ Execom with the CMZ BWC related to BRA Art and Education with screening. 
2) As initial awareness strategy, the collection of bras for the Installation Art as an opportunity to introduce the concept of brassieres as Art medium for the Advocacy; and tapping the whole CMZ workforce as well as partner institutions in the community including schools, supermarkets, offices and organizations. 
3)  As outdoor media, the creation of Installation Art, especially the giant BRA, the Ciudad De Zamboanga B.R.E.A.S.T. (Bra to Raise Early Awareness for Screening and Treatment) Installation Art placed in a strategic place in the City, particularly for nine months at the main City Park, Paseo Del Mar as Breast Cancer Awareness icon.
4)  Development of other installation artworks (outdoor media) by the CMZ BWC and CMZ Maintenance Team with contribution from CMZ workforce for BRA Art. 
5) Coordination with government agencies, barangays, organizations and media for activities involving their participation. 
6)  Creation of the CMZ BRAngay Team to implement all the CMZ BRAngay Project activities as breast lecturers and screeners, to be reinforced by the pool of CMZ volunteer nurses. 
7)  Conduct of pre-activity and post-activity surveys by the CMZ BRAngay Team for each activity to assess level of awareness of the participants. 
IMPLEMENTATION AND CHALLENGES
The Ciudad Medical Zamboanga B.R.A. Campaign Project proposed a novel awareness strategy to the larger problem of Breast Cancer in Zamboanga City using a two-pronged approach: 1) Brassieres as Art medium to create a strong visual impact for Breast Cancer Awareness within Zamboanga City to complement and inspire the education efforts and 2) Breast Education with Screening to reach out to the barangay levels through its offshoot, the CMZ BRAngay Project. (BReast Awareness to neighborhoods, groups, associations and the youth).
Challenges for BRA to Raise Awareness.
Prior to implementation, there were apprehensions related to use of brassieres in the advocacy. One apprehension was that women consider bras as very personal. Another issue is the acceptability of brassieres as art medium to conservative religious groups and women’s groups, and considered consultative meetings prior to start of the project. The main challenge considered was that display of bras would trigger “outrage” and may be unacceptable to our community. For the conservative, the use of brassieres may be thought provoking and shocking to the conscience and may cause minds to wander, thus, distracting the public from its lofty purpose.
The solution considered was to give attention to the decoration of the bras so they do not appear as underwear materials.
During the initial implementation, CMZ workforce was already enthusiastic and cooperative with use of their artistic ability in the advocacy and the engagement of the CMZ workforce continued with the collection of donated bras with the element of friendly competition. The response of the CMZ workforce was overwhelming.
However, as expected, there were still some sectors in the Zamboanga Community who conveyed their apprehensions related to the use of brassieres in the advocacy, especially from the schools.
During the collection period, the CMZ workforce and eventually, the community partners gathered for a BRA Art workshop with the artist, to initiate the decoration of the bras so these do not appear as underwear. The workshop gathered beautifully embellished bras so there was no need for consultative meetings to check if the bra medium was acceptable.
Challenges for CMZ BRAngay Project.
The passive and conservative disposition of the community needed continuous follow-up for lecture and free screening schedules, thus, identification of active communities and organizations had to be given priority.
Continuous BRA activities throughout 2014 and 2015 have illustrated sincerity on the side of the CMZ BWC, thus, partnerships were forged to help gather participants.
Another challenge is the security situation of Zamboanga City. Two of our scheduled activities for October 2015 to more remote barangays were cancelled due to a kidnapping incident within the City a day prior. Despite willingness to the CMZ BRAngay Team to serve, restrictions to some barangays for safety reasons, somehow limit the reach of the project at present, accordingly, especially this Election season.
The initiatives continue in the more urban barangays. This territorial reach suffices for now since there are still many barangays and organizations to cater to.
MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION
1)  Involvement of workforce: 90 to 100 % of CMZ workforce units participated in the different art activities, collection of bras, social media initiatives as well as the education and screening activities from 2014 to present. 

2)  Involvement of partner institutions: Partnership with institutions from the bra collection period in 2014 up to the present time has been overwhelming in terms of number, presence and support. The recognition of the City Government, media institutions especially, E-Media production and GBPI TV11, and the Archdiocese of Zamboanga helps in the propagation of the advocacy since these groups now tap the CMZ BWC for Breast awareness initiatives. 
3) Installation Artworks: The project has showcased five installation artworks as well as several BRA Art exhibits. For every CMZ BRAngay project activities, the BRA Art is conspicuously displayed for a significant period and this has the tendency of creating a more positive atmosphere to a serious advocacy. 

   a) CMZ BREAST (Bra to Raise Early Awareness for Screening and Treatment) Installation Art


      b) B.R.A. Vinta
B.R.A. Vinta Version 1
B.R.A. Vinta Version 2
      c) B.R.A. Christmas Tree 1@ E-Media
       d) B.R.A.lentine Wall and Photo booth
        e) B.R.A. Wall @ Zamboanga International Airport
During the October BRA Parade 2015 at the City Hall where the designed bras from the community were collected



    f) B.R.A. Christmas Tree 2 @ Robinsons Galleria Cebu

4)  CMZ BRAngay Project activities (January 2014 - December 2015): There are a total of 44 breast lectures with 28 breast screening activities serving 2995 participants and 1150 women screened with 28 free ultrasound and 6 mammograms. 



5)  Media and Social Media: The CMZ BRA Campaign Project was serious in promoting the campaign to spread the message to the target publics, thus, gathered a total overall media value amounted to PHP 6,691,550.21 with a corresponding PR value of PHP 20,074,650.63 (January 2014-August 2015). 
IMPACT
The notable milestone of the project is the request of the City of Zamboanga Gender and Development to use the BRA Art for the 2015 Pink October BRA parade and participation of the different private companies including hospitals and government agencies in the BRA parade. This was followed by the Resolution and Commendation from the Sangguniang Panglungsod (City Council of Zamboanga) for the CMZ BRA Campaign Project last October 6, 2015 as well as commendation from the City Mayor, Hon. Maria Isabel Climaco, thereby, manifesting acceptance of the City Government for the Breast Advocacy efforts of the CMZ-BWC.
A very positive reaction from social media is the recognition and invitation from Robinsons Galleria Cebu for the CMZ BRA Campaign Project B.R.A. tree to be part of the Robinsons Malls Tree Festival for Corporate Social Responsibility during the Mall’s opening last December 8, 2015 up to January 10, 2016. During the Tree Festival, the CMZ Pink BRA Tree became the Online Favorite based on Facebook Likes!



Receiving the ONLINE FAVORITE Award for the ROBINSONS TREE FESTIVAL during the opening of the new Robinsons Galleria Cebu
last January 9, 2016
The fact that the CMZ BRA Campaign Project reaped an International Award, the Gold Award for Corporate Social Responsibility at the Asian Hospital Management Awards 2015 given at the Sedona Hotel, Yangon, Myanmar last September 4, 2015 is a noteworthy gauge on the impact of this innovative CSR program in relation to the Asian Healthcare community having bested more than 70 CSR programs from 12 countries.
Receiving the GOLD AWARD for CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY at the Asian Hospital Managment Awards 2015 at Sedona Hotel in Myanmar last September 4, 2015.

All these efforts were also recognized during the 51st Anvil Awards where the CMZ BRA Campaign Project garnered a Gold Anvil Award for Specialized Public Relations Program for Advocacy Campaign. This was conferred last February 26, 2016 at the Makati Shangrila Hotel.

Receiving the GOLD ANVIL AWARD at Makati Shangrila
last February 26, 2016

What was initially a corporate social responsibility program for Ciudad Medical Zamboanga is now a city-wide campaign with national and international acknowledgment. Its milestones speak for the impact it has created to the community and significantly, to the lives it has made a difference to because of awakened consciousness.
All these will inspire the project to do more and serve more as any responsible corporate citizen would commit and do.

PLANS FOR 2016

Even with the Awards that CMZ has garnered for the CMZ BRA Campaign Project, the CMZ-BWC knows that we still have a lot to do for the CMZ BRAngay Project.
CMZ will continue to serve through Breast Cancer Awareness education and screening in Zamboanga City this 2016!

As of February 2016, CMZ has visited Bureau of Fire Protection, Barangay Tugbungan and Barangay Upper Calarian  (Golf).

This March, CMZ will visit CitiMall and Barangay Lumayang!

THE ADVOCACY CONTINUES....

For those who are interested in the breast awareness lectures and screening, you are most welcome to contact Nely at the CMZ Breast Wellness Center, Tel. No. (062)992-7330 local 1278 for your schedule.


"Have you been checked?"
"Love your breasts. Have them checked!"
"Early detection and treatment save lives!"



47 comments:

  1. Yes, breast cancer is one of the top cancer in the country and I knew some people who died because of breast cancer. CMZ BRA Campaign Project is really nice because it will raise awareness. Educating people will really help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We hope they didn't die because of late diagnosis....

      Delete
  2. Breast Cancer is so common in women the world over. And it's good that we have campaign and programs that help raise awareness. That's really amazing! Good job on being part of this campaign as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! This campaign is our passion and we are so happy to have a dynamic team to back us up!!!

      Delete
  3. It is good that you will continue your advocacy. We know it is hard to change the outlook of a community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We know ther are many challenges but we can try...

      Delete
  4. Raising awareness is a challenge but good thing, that you pushed yourselves to let people know the importance of bra screening.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Glad to hear dok that you still continue the advocacy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, this is also the reason why I was out of the picture for a while... we had too many activities - for this advocacy as well as for other hospital activities! A lot has happened for the advocacy too

      Delete
    2. At least now you are back and is sharing to us what you are up to the past months. Welcome Back Doc!

      Delete
  6. Ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng bra na ginamit para sa advocacy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really thank Rameer Tawasil for this!

      Delete
  7. This is a cute and grand way to promote breast cancer awareness. :) I hope we have more programs / campaigns like this all over the country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we also feel it is cute and grand as you put it! We have a new CSR program coming up next which will be fun, and cute in its own way... watch for it!

      Delete
  8. I remember reading about the breast cancer awareness attempt last year. Great to see this campaign running strong this year too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We also didn't expect it will run this strong! I remember that we just found it unique!

      Delete
  9. wow, this is such an interesting campaign! Never heard of this before, but I am for breast cancer awareness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is why I continue to blog about it and also even applied for the HMA Award and Anvil Award.

      Delete
    2. Yes, that is why I continue to blog about it and also even applied for the HMA Award and Anvil Award.

      Delete
  10. This is amazing campaign, such a great cause and perfect way to spread this campaign. Welcome back!:)
    www.sweetcuisinera.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This year, we will continue with the CMZ BRAngay Project to intensify the free lectures and breast screening side! We may still have art initiatives during major celebrations like in October

      Delete
  11. I wish you all the success on this advocay :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I remember your post about this project from awhile back. It's good to see that it still continues and you are raising awareness on early detection of breast cancer. More power to you all! If only government advocacy projects are ran this way no?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Vera! We do hope more people in government service will also be passionate in their service and advocacy!

      Delete
  13. Raising awareness is the first step to win the fight against Breast Cancer. What initially started as a company program is now a city wide campaign Congratulations to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was indeed unexpected for us... but we are happy about it!

      Delete
  14. Good to see you back Doc. And Oh! I missed this bra awareness campaign, a great way to raise awareness about breast cancer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am happy to be back... i think it is easier to comment now than before!

      Delete
  15. Oh, I remember this project of yours years ago. Glad to know that CMZ still continued this awareness. -katrina centeno

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and we did not expect that the advocacy would grow ... we are still continuing with the education and screening side because there are still many women we have to reach out to.

      Delete
  16. This is a great advocate for breast cancer awareness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. We realize we still have a lot more to do.

      Delete
  17. This is a good way to increase awareness and consciousness among our fellow Zamboanguenos.

    ReplyDelete
  18. There is a lot more to do, but this is awesome. Thank you for making people more aware of breast cancer

    ReplyDelete
  19. THUMBS UP!!! I felt so great for being a part of the breast wellness (BRangay) advocacy.coz i believe that there are no hinges in serving the less fortunate families. --- Nanette Abril Condeno

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ms. Nanette for being a dedicated member of the BRAngay Team! You and the team have indeed touched so many women's breasts and most of all, LIVES!

      Delete
  20. I am so proud to be part of the CMZ BRAngay Team. Serving the community especislly going to bsrangays relieves stress.We have a very happy and dynamic team.Each time is a learning experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your participation as part of the breast screeners is highly appreciated! A happy BRAngay Team indeed makes Corporate Social Responsibility even more exciting!

      Delete
  21. Thankful for the BRAngay project for the free travel to cebu and manila and opportunity to serve.
    #proud to be a part of the BRAngay project.
    #proudCMZian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cristina Bolo for being the main BRA artist (after Rameer Tawasil) and making the different BRA Artworks = BRA Vinta, BRAlentine Walls, the two Christmas Trees, etc, with love and without complaints! I am also so happy that because our project was recognized, you were practically "awarded" trips to Cebu (for Robinsons) and Manila (for the Gold Anvil Award) at Makati Shangrila. Where do you think we will go next? (hahahaha!)

      Delete
  22. Sana marami pa kaming puntahan para makatulong sa mas maraming tao.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Leigh Anne for being a part of the CMZ BRA Campaign Project even if you are still a young girl. We hope you will continue to learn about social responsibility and love of service.

      Delete
  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete